Village Traffic Rules: Laws in Little Kingdoms
Homeowners Association rules and regulations are the law of the land, as long as you are within territorial boundaries of the concerned subdivision. These laws were crafted primarily to protect and give order to the community as a whole. As such, visitors are expected to strictly abide by it, or risk being denied entry.
I had a little run-in with the “law” recently in a little kingdom considered one of the most posh villages in Makati. My car ran 49 km/hour on a stretch that only allows 40 km/hour. At the end of the curb, hides a vigilant blue guard with a speed gun inconspicuously positioned behind a tree like a Seal Team 6 sniper.
I knew my fate and I took out my LTO driver’s license (DL) without any protest, and handed it to the guard. This was the conversation translated in English:
Guard: Good afternoon Sir, you’re over speeding at 49 km/h (shows the speed gun).
Me: (Hands out LTO DL)
Guard: Sorry Sir, we can’t confiscate this. Do you have any ID with you?
Me: I only have my DL and my credit cards.
Guard: You can only surrender an ID and not your DL. It’s policy. Any ID will do, even if it’s not valid (???).
Me: Yes, I know it’s not just policy, it’s the law. So what are we gonna do now? I really don’t have anything more. (Showing the contents of my wallet)
Guard: (Pauses for about 30 seconds) Ok, Sir. I’ll issue you a ticket and just promise to pay the fine. Next time, bring with you an ID.
Land Transportation and Traffic Code and HLURB AO No. 3, S 2017
I didn’t bother to engage the guard because I know the fellow was just doing his job and I can surmise the lack of information and training the Homeowners Association gave to implement that rule.
Two issuances come into play when it comes to DLs and village driving. The Traffic Code provides that only law enforcers and those deputized by LTO may confiscate DLs. HLURB AO No. 3 meanwhile affirms this law and further zeroes in on villages, subdivisions, and condominiums’ proscription from confiscating for violations or collecting a DL in exchange for a gate pass.
The guard was spot on in schooling me that he may not confiscate my DL for the speeding violation, but an impasse is created if the motorist only carries a DL and nothing else. The law requires all motorists to carry their DL while behind the wheel, and no law requires a motorist to carry any other ID while driving.
Special emphasis should also be made on the guard’s statement when he said: “Any ID will do, even if it’s not valid”. This bears importance because fake ID making has been a cottage industry in this country. See link courtesy of ABS-CBN News.
Best Practices: Use of Cheap Technology and Common Sense
With enough available cheap technology, one way to enforce security and not overburden motorists is to take a quick photo of the DL together with the license plate of the vehicle and a time stamp.
If the motorist cannot produce a DL, then the security personnel has every right to deny entry of the vehicle. In a traffic violation or altercation, the security personnel may hold the vehicle, contact the proper authorities and wait for its proper disposition.
Karl S. Borja is a Partner at Borja Panis Salem Baldonado and Associates. His practice includes real estate transactions, property law, and government regulatory compliance.
You may reach him at:
6B Vernida I Condominium, 120 Amorsolo St., Legazpi Village, Makati City. Tel No. 02-847888395