Far greater road dangers than canopies
There is a proposed ordinance that is now up before the Cebu City Council that seeks to ban those bright-colored canopies that have now become quite popular among motorcycles. Those canopies are obviously meant to shield the motorcycle riders from the elements. But the proposed ordinance sees the contraptions as a safety hazard that could cause accidents.
Now, safety is doubtless a matter of grave concern. But "grave concern for safety" has also been misappropriated and has in fact become a motherhood statement that has been invoked countless of times for no more compelling reason than to give vent to a whim. A city ordinance is a very serious matter as well. Once implemented, it affects the lives of countless people. It also cannot proceed from a whim.
If motorcycle canopies are indeed a safety hazard and a potential cause for accidents, then the proposed ordinance must prove the canopies are indeed what it fears them to be. Studies must be produced that conclude the use of such canopies is indeed dangerous. Moreover, records must be provided that list down the number of instances wherein canopies are proven to have directly caused accidents.
Anything short of these requirements and the proposed ordinance will be proven to be very lame and not worth the while of the city council to discuss. There are far greater concerns about safety involving motorcycles that the council can truly devote its time and energies to if it truly wants to maintain safety in all streets in the city.
There is for instance the continued defiance by motorcycle riders of appropriate and applicable laws and ordinances on the wearing of safety helmets and the carrying of small children. What is the city council doing about these rampant and blatant violations? Just because enforcement is no longer within the ambit of the legislature does not mean legislators can turn a blind eye to them.
And then there is that even more dangerous practice of motorcycle riders weaving in and out of traffic or crossing medians and driving against traffic flow. These dangerous practices are easily verifiable. It is pretty certain our good councilors must have seen these violations at least once in their lives. But what have they done about them? These very real and present dangers are what should preoccupy them.