Barriers for motorcycle back riders ‘unsafe’ and ‘useless,’ say netizens

The national government’s task force against the coronavirus has finally approved the request of motorcylists to be able to travel with pillion riders, although for limited types of passengers.

Commuters who are on social media have a problem with the task force’s requirement for a barrier to be installed between the driver and the passenger. They say it makes the ride dangerous since the barrier may resist the wind and cause imbalance to the riders.

It also doesn’t make sense to separate cohabiting couples that way when they sleep together anyway, they said. (LOOK: Approved motorcycle barriers for protection vs COVID-19)

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto questioned the roadworthiness of the “untested modification” and suggested having it tested by experts first before full implementation.

Recto pointed out that it would be senseless to enforce a barrier between couples who sleep together, and even “kiss each other goodbye after the ride.”

This sentiment is echoed online, as netizens mocked the government’s requirement to present photocopies of marriage contracts to present in checkpoints. They asked whether huge framed photos from their wedding would also be acceptable.

Netizens also complained why only couples are permitted to back-ride when there are relatives who live in the same house and should therefore be allowed to travel together. (READ: Father and son headed to work arrested for back riding in Pangasinan and Frontliners in a bind: Health workers fined P5,000 for back riding)

The government will also require those barriers for motorcycle ride-hailing service providers like Angkas, prompting Filipinos online to point out how that this didn’t make sense since motorcyclists and their passengers already wear helmets and masks, which can both prevent them from spreading the virus.

Some recommended that riders be required instead to disinfect the helmets that are shared with other riders.

For some people, however, the new barriers, which are not yet proven to prevent virus transmission, is yet another added cost in this pandemic.

In a tweet, Senator Risa Hontiveros said: “Let’s help the commuting public by giving them sound options. Let's help them, not burden them with poorly-planned policies.” –