Traffic > Decree

You could be penalized if your tires touch that solid white line

A reader learned about this violation the hard way

In the actual picture, the tires of the car are barely touching the solid white line. ILLUSTRATION BY KHAT DE GUZMAN

Take a careful look at the above illustration. We asked our artist to draw this based on a photograph sent to us by a reader. This reader had been penalized for unwittingly placing his right pair of tires over the solid white line on the road. He had done this after having avoided a couple of motorcycle riders who had squeezed him toward the line in question. If he had not done so, he fears that his car could have been the recipient of scratches (maybe even dents) courtesy of the lane-filtering riders.

Imagine his surprise when he later got formal notice (via no-contact apprehension) from the city’s traffic bureau informing him of the violation—complete with a clear picture of the scene. In fact, the illustration you see here is nearly the exact representation of said image. We just had to draw it because the reader was not willing to have the photo published. He didn’t tell us the amount of the penalty, but he certainly thinks this is wrong.

To be honest, while we know that drivers need to respect and avoid that solid white line, we are not aware of an explicitly stated penalty pertaining to the generally harmless act of kissing the line with your tires. Actually, in the real photo, the car’s tires are barely over the line. Our artist probably just got overexcited in sketching the scene.

Apparently, some cities will fine you for even grazing the line. IMAGE FROM LTO

Land Transportation Office’s Filipino Driver’s Manual says that crossing a solid white line “is discouraged,” but doesn’t mention a specific penalty for this (correct us if you know otherwise). Maybe LGUs are allowed to implement their own motoring regulations. Who knows?

Also, in the LTO’s example, the solid white line is dividing two opposing halves of the road. In the incident we’re discussing here, the white line is within the same directional half. Just pointing that out in case you conclude that the “infraction” is potentially dangerous.

Yes, we believe that the solid white line should be respected at all times. No ifs and no buts. But there are moments when you will unintentionally hit it. Because, you know, our roads are full of ignorant users who cause us to perform avoidance maneuvers for safety’s sake. Turns out that, in doing so, you could end up being caught breaking the rule. Come to think of it: Maybe the motorcycle riders are part of a scam to force clueless motorists into committing a simple traffic infringement.

Just wondering.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.