Getting a traffic citation, just because you are a foreigner.

Recently, I was driving along, my wife in the car with me, we were on a 4 hour trip, and bang, some lunatic cut me off, and sideswiped me.

I was in the traffic stream, and the other driver, very annoyingly typical of that type, overtook everybody, without giving two hoots about oncoming traffic, and then just tried to ram his way in, and out of the way of oncoming traffic.

I made it a point to learn the road rules in the Philippines, so I do know them, many do not even know they exist.

The other driver blames me for the damage, and is claiming that I did not give way to him!

The police came after the other driver rang them, and they say that I did not give way to the overtaking vehicle - come on, there is no rule that states that I have to give way to an overtaking vehicle, but the rules say that if another driver has indicated he wants to overtake, I am not to speed up, and of course, common sense tells you not to hinder the overtaking vehicle.

The law is very specific when it comes to the overtaking vehicle though, they cannot overtake into oncoming traffic ( as he did ), must not cut you off when coming back into the traffic stream, and the list goes on, and in fact,the rules are the same wherever you come from.

Now this policeman, tells me that I should have braked/slowed quickly, to let him have his way, and because I saw this vehicle, I am therefore driving recklessly.

I saw the other driver, a split second before he hit me; I had cars to the front, and cars to the rear.

I had to surrender my license to the policeman at the scene of the incident, then pick up the police report a few days later.

The police report is an example of bias, because the policeman wrote it up as being my fault: he wanted me to sign the report,which I refused to, and I told him that I committed no offence, whereas the other driver committed at least 3 dangerous/reckless driving offences, but he insists that I failed to give way to the overtaking vehicle - check out the road traffic rules yourself by going to the LTO website.

When I left the scene of the incident,mthe other driver and his wife,mwere still at the scene, and deep in conversation with the policeman, Lord only knows what was being discussed, but I think we know.

I told the policeman that I will fight him all the way on this one, because I an not going to accept the blame when I committed no offence.

I have written to the LTO to lodge a complaint,mandcas yet,mhave not been repliedbto; I will attend there Friday, and give them a hard copy of the email.

This is the second time, where I have been totally blameless, but blamed, but this time I will not accept it; FYI, the first time, a jeepney pulled out from the side, and hit me, and guess what,surprise, surprise, I was blamed for overtaking without care, reckless driving that is, but not this time folks.

Anybody had similar?

Buy a dashcam

Yes you are very right; overtaking is only available to a driver when the traffic is clear and safe to do so; hope you are not taken advantage by this people; where did this happen?

It happened just south of Santa Cruz, enroute to Digos, in Mindanao.

I know very well that I did not commit anything that could even remotely be called a breach of the law, and even when you read and dissect the law, there is no possible way that the rule could be interpreted as that I am required to give way to some lunatic who is blatantly disregarding the law.

Maybe, a few peso exchanged hands in my absence, but this time they have a fight on their hands, and I will win.

Just be careful in that area! Keep us posted

I will keep the site posted.
I know that I will have to be careful in the area, because they do not like to be corrected.
I know very well that I committed no breach, except for the fact that I am a foreigner, and I am expected to be blamed for everything, but not this time, as as I told them, I will fight them to the bitter end.

The latest on my driving woes are that I went to the LTO that had received my drivers license from the policeman, and demanded my license back, and I quoted the law to them. I also referred them to their own website thatbrecommends that you complain if you believe there has been unjust demands made, ir fictitious offences called.
Now I have my license back!
But what angers me, is that if I did not lay down the law, and stand up for myself, I would have been penalised for something I did not do.

Congratulation! Remember the bullet incident in the airport? It was a foreigner who firmly questioned the charge against him at the expense of being inconvenience; this shenanigans would not have been stopped if not for him.

This is a very common sight even if you are not a foreigner. As long as you seemed ignorant of the traffic laws or the laws itself. I commend you for not backing down and just submitting to the situation. Plus you did something about it and proved them wrong.

I hear similar stories from other expats and when there is an accident the owner with insurance has to pay the damages even if he is  not to blame ...sad but the state of things here in the Philippines ..when in Rome???
Maybe if there a "non-claims discount" things may change.

I am very glad that you took the time to learn the traffic laws in the Philippines and that you stood up for your rights. Every time a foreigner refuses to be intimidated or bullied by the system in this country, it makes it easier for the next guy.  The problem with knowing the laws, is that few other people, INCLUDING POLICE, know the laws. So you can quote this law or that and at first it means nothing. Only going higher up will knowledge of the laws really turn out to be a benefit.
Good work and thank you

Began to not use my seat belt for small trips and was stopped by the traffic guys. First time I was all apologetic but the second time I pointed to the passing traffic and said why pick on me because no one else wear theirs!  Handed my licence and paid the fine in Lipa, next time I'll be more humble but it grates when we see bear headed motorcyclist carrying whole families round the town and they don't get picked up.
I said something to a Police man once and he said fining them was a waste of time because they have no money. I said why not confiscate their tricycle and the reply was that they wouldn't have an income for the family!!!!
u can't win.

In discussion with friends last night, both foreign and Filipino, and all educated, we reiterated that the Filipino is always right, and the foreigner wrong.
This is only in the Philippines, because the Filipino overseas is a valued member of society, so different to what he is here.

Some sad but rather common news here.  Clearly more expats should review Republic Act No. 4136, as you have to understand the law.  I have been stopped 14 times in Manila for swerving and talking on my bluetooth headset while driving and each time they demanded my license I refused. At times 3-4 group around my car and start looking in or at tires and plate/stickers.  So far, all of their actions are illegal in that MMDA/traffic enforcers are not allowed to group together to deal with a motorist. 

Do as much as you can from inside the car without getting out initially.  They are not allowed to ask you to step out of your vehicle.  As soon as the blame shifting starts, if MMDA is involved, use their hotline to call for an "inspector" at the scene (09175277304 in metro Manila).

DL can be taken when involved in an accident (If the license is to be confiscated, the Traffic Enforcer should inform the driver of the reason/s for the confiscation and the ticket validity), but I would never surrender at the scene without complete pictures of all officers and persons/cars involved.  If possible, only surrender your DL to the "investigator" that you have demanded to be on scene.

Always wait for the written ticket to be handed to you then ask for their "written mission orders" and review the orders to see if that person has authority to issue tickets.  Often, it will not be the enforcer that first stopped you.  For sure, go to the station where clear names and positions can be filmed and recorded.  Once you are home or at your laptop/smart phone, send a detailed email complaining of your concern for a lack of justice and include all actions, persons, pics and vehicle ID/plate numbers to: email[at]

Back to a regular traffic stop:  I let them see my DL but not hold it. The next threat is we will take you to the station …

My response, "fine I will take pics of the scene, officers and vehicles involved and down loan to the US embassy on the way there". 

In each case the hands suddenly covered the name tags and they lost their ability to speak english.  I have never paid P1 with all my stops and since I do not drive without a small pocket cam on my waist, it has made a difference.  My next box from USA includes a webcam and an unlocked device for live streaming.

Best wishes in your fight for justice!

Far too often we sre looked at as a source of income, but like you, I am a fighter and stick up for my rights.
As a matter of interest, on the LTO website, it categorically states that swerving is not an offence!
I don't know how many times I have been stopped, but what happened with me is the first time that a collision was involved, and I know that under those circumstances they can hold your license - talk about extortion.
Normally When I am stopped, I tell them I have committed no offence, and if they are alleging I am, then I demand that we attend the local police station, or the LTO, then they back off so quickly.
Like you, I have never paid over one centavo, and
I will not!

my advice is to get a lawyer to help you with this

Don't need a lawyer,mwhat, as soon as they see a foreigner, the price goes up 10 times, and they do less.
I resolved it myself, by standing up to them!

No need for a lawyer if you know the law. Sad to say, most Filipinos are breaking the law by paying money under the table. I highly discouraged y'all to do the same.
Philippines need total transformation in this kind of act. Filipinos are very disciplined and well mannered when they are in other countries, but apparently they are abusing the law when they are in their own country. I don't want to reiterate what happened to me with the same scenario but what really saddened me is that you will find very least officials that are truly honest and reliable in serving people.

I am very aware that Filipinos living in other countries, mostly, are totally different to the one's who live here.
It is so very sad,ma terrible indictment on the society, that the greater majority of people here, accept the need to " pay "; I refuse to!

Just reading this post on getting a traffic citation. This is just so silly & I understand the whole bit "the foreigner is to blame". Also, taking pictures & names is a great idea. In fact, when driving into Manila, specifically, leaving the NLEX & taking the EDSA exit via the Monumento end, I was stopped by 2 policemen or traffic officers. They suggested that I cut off traffic, IE turned right from the 3rd lane, but only the right 2 lanes are allowed to take this exit, as clearly marked on the road.

These 2 polite gents (sarcasm) stopped me, suggesting my incorrect entry into the exit. The wanted my my DL, which I showed them. Silly of me at first, I handed it over. When I realized that my DL was not being returned, I still in the car, asked if I could get my ticket & depart. As I advised these 2 gents that they were polite etc & that I wanted to send a compliment letter to their boss. At this point they were relaxed, I asked if I could look at my licence, to write down the number so I could arrange to recover my DL at a later point. I was handed the DL, to get the details I needed, put the DL in my pocket. These 2 gullible gents were thinking I was a sucker, kept pressing me that I would get a ticket, or I could hand over P1K. As luck would have it, these 2 gents, had no support vehicle, there was a BIG gap in the traffic, so the car was put in gear & I drove away. My wife was watching them thru the back window & she advised that they looked like deer trapped in the headlights. What could they actually do. No radios on their belts etc, so I disappeared. BTW while I was stopped, chatting with these 2 gents, we watched many "locals" committing the same offence, I was accused of, but these gents only stopped a couple of vehicles & let them go shortly after.

Since that day, whenever I have been stopped or asked to stop, I look for vehicular support. If I actually stop, I am calm, polite, never release my DL & wait for the ticket. Oops that's right, they don't want to give a ticket. So with my many pics, my DL in my possession & the traffic officers or police have NO vehicular support, why wait, just drive off.

I've done the same many times. If at night, I never stop unless its in a populated area! I'm willing to donate 500 to their police fund if that helps, but that's just me.

I've experienced the same as well in the past where I would get pulled over for no  reason and then they would claim I broke some kind of traffic law.  In my first encounter, I didn't know better so I paid the fine. 

However, on my second encounter, I knew I hadn't violated any laws so when I got pulled over, I called my "lawyer."  Well, it wasn't really my lawyer but my Filipino business partner.  I handed my phone over to the traffic enforcer and after a few minutes, I got my phone back and the enforcer just gave me a warning. 

I feel that some Filipinos like to abuse their power if they can get away with it. 

Luckily, a close friend of mine works for the chairman of the MMDA so she gave me and some of my friends her business card.  I haven't had to use it but a friend of mine used it and the MMDA let him go immediately.

Just a minor extortion. Nobody can help you when they threaten your life while extorting you big time.

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