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Monday, 22 January 2024

Police in Dinagat Islands give away crash helmets to motorbike riders

By Renelle Escuadro

BUTUAN CITY – Police in Dinagat Islands gave away crash helmets to motorcycle riders as part of their community relations efforts to encourage compliance with the law requiring the use of helmets.

The campaign of the Police Community Affairs and Development Unit of the Dinagat Islands Mobile Force Platoon is dubbed as “Helping Every Local Motorcycle Riders and Ensure Travel Safety or Helmets was implemented on Jan. 12 at Sitio Glen, Brgy. Doña Helene, Basilisa, Dinagat Islands.

Markleo Casingsing Caballero was anxious after he was flagged down at the police checkpoint. He was not wearing a helmet. While he thought he would be getting a citation ticket, he was instead given a new and standard helmet.

“Nagpasalamat ko sa Dinagat Islands pulis kay naa na koy helmet, safe na akong pag-drive [Thank you, Dinagat Islands police, for the free helmet; it’s safe to drive now],” Caballero expressed his gratitude.

At a recent police checkpoint in Basilisa, PDI, Markleo Casingsing Caballero was flagged down by a police officer because he was driving a motorcycle without a helmet. Photo of PIA Caraga.

Caballero as well as the other riders who were stopped for not wearing helmets were made to listen to a safety reminder and a brief explainer on the provisions of Republic Act No. 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.

According to Major Ruel B.  Saliba, force commander of DIPMFP, the Project Helmets started in 2020. Under the program, they give away two helmets in a month.

“We still continue to reprimand drivers without helmets, as this is part of law enforcement. However, instead of instilling fear in people, Project Helmets considered cops as enablers,” PMaj. Saliba said.

“We also understand those who cannot afford to purchase a helmet which is why we are trying our best to help them get one to better promote road safety. This is the reason why the island province has a very low crime rate on road violations and accidents,” Saliba shared.

“We are thankful to the Dinagatnons for their high respect for police officers, and we have sustained this level of respect. They listen to us, which is why this is a peaceful province. We are drug-free and insurgency-free, and we lead in hotline awareness and safety metrics in the latest survey in Caraga region,” Saliba added.

Republic Act No. 10054, or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, mandates the use of standard protective motorcycle helmets by anyone aboard two-wheelers—both drivers and passengers. It also provides specific penalties for its violation. (RLE/PIA Dinagat Islands)