Requiring a helmet and mandating bikers to adhere to traffic rules are just among the health and safety protocols for a safer cycling culture being pushed by Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar.
Villar filed House Bill No. 8156 or the proposed Bicycle Act of 2020 to create bikeways on roads and highways, establish bike parks and support the cycling industry in general by putting forward a national law. The bill seeks to provide a framework for a bicycle law on a national level so that Filipino commuters may find a cheaper alternative to get to their destination while saving the environment from harmful emissions.
“With bikes becoming more in-demand and physical distancing dictating social norms, a policy on bicycle and cyclists should now figure prominently in the government’s current and post-pandemic planning,” Villar said in filing the bill.
The measure establishes rights and responsibilities of bikers for a safer ride: proper wearing of helmets where the chin strap is securely fastened, riding on designated bikeways, equipping bikes with brakes, lights and reflectors, and obedience to traffic laws. Restrictions, however, include prohibitions on riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk, clinging to another vehicle, carrying more persons than it was designed to carry except when a seat or trailer towed by the bicycle is present, and overspeeding.
“Bicycle is not only a tool for transportation, it is also good for the health,” Villar said. Quoting the account of Dr. Antonio Dans, an avid cycler and doctor at the Philippine General Hospital, Villar said the exercise from riding a bicycle would not only boost the body’s immune system to better fight communicable diseases such as COVID-19, but would also improve overall health and prevent complications caused by hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses.
This bill was originally filed by her father, former Senate President Manny Villar