Motorcycle riders were given until July 31 to install barriers as a protective measure against the spread of COVID-19, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo said Friday.
“In effect, motorcycle riders were given three weeks grace period to comply with this requirement. This will be the most that the government, through our NTF Against COVID-19, could give for our motorcycle riders to comply in order for them to be allowed to back-ride their spouses or live-in partners,” Eleazar said in a press statement.
He explained another extension was given since many motorcycle riders are requesting the task force for more time to comply with the requirement of back-riding.
Eleazar also said they already advised motorcycle dealers nationwide as to where they could buy the approved barrier design. Popular online stores would also sell barriers.
The COVID Shield commander added the task force coordinated with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure the quality of the motorcycle barriers.
Elezar reported that since July 10, a total of 1,564 motorcycle riders had been apprehended for “unauthorized back-riding, meaning they were neither live-in partners nor spouses.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) warned Thursday that the barriers “may contribute negatively to safety, health, economy, and environment.”
PSME explained in a position paper that the barrier would affect the aerodynamics of a motorcycle in motion.
“The barrier will contribute to the change of the designed allowable aerodynamic forces (drag and lift), which will compromise the stability of the motorcycle. This will place the safety of the riders at risk,” it said.
The PSME added that there is no guarantee that the barrier “will be effective in protecting both riders from the spread of air particles to each other.”
“With the barrier attached when the motorcycle is in motion, the front side of the barrier builds up pressure while creating turbulence and suction behind the barrier,” the paper read.