Speed Enforcement – Pinoy Style

be390bdec655275f2af2f5fe15fcb143Heres another example how life goes on in the Philippines.  There are laws but not enforced and there is also logic in enforcing those laws even if its incorrect.  You see the piece below about how drivers are being fined for speeding?  In the west that method to capture and fine drivers would not wash.  It would be laughed out of court yet is the way its done in the Philippines and like all the other articles on this blog noted eg. here  locals who received a fine would not even dare to complain and most likely pay it.

Because traffic enforcers dont have speed guns they then jump in a vehicle and run at a constant 40 kilomters an hour.  Sounds reasonable… cars overtaking must be doing more than 40 kilomters an hour so lets book them for speeding.  But at what speed?  Were the cars doing 45?  50?  70?  The enforcers would have to speed up to pull over the driver and then its their word against the drivers.

But are they aware of the term “calibration”?

Speedometer Errors

Several factors can affect the accuracy of speedometers:

Worn tires: As the rubber on the tire wears, the tire diameter becomes smaller. This will make the wheel travel a shorter distance per revolution. Your speedometre might think one revolution is 170cm, but due to tyre wear it is in fact 167cm. So a car running at the same RPM will actually travel less distance. Instead of covering 100km in one hour, it goes only 99km. As the rubber wears, the vehicle’s actual speed drops relative to the displayed speed. Because speedos should always be calibrated when tyres are new, not when they are worn, driving on worn tyres will mean your speedo over-reads. Actual speeds will always decrease relative to a fixed displayed speed as the tyres wear. Having worn tyres can not cause you to speed inadvertently.  How many vehicles especially Government vehicles are running around the Philippines with new tyres with full tread?

Tire Pressure: If you decrease the tire pressure, the diameter of your wheel decreases and the wheel will travel a shorter distance per revolution. This will decrease the actual speed of your vehicle in comparison with the displayed speed. If you drive with low pressure in your tires you reduce the risk of unknowingly driving over the speed limit. Because speedos should always be calibrated when tires are fully inflated, driving on low pressure tires cannot cause your speedo to under-read. However, heat build-up or over inflation could possibly cause the tires to balloon slightly which can increase their diameter and could theoretically cause under-readings if there were no other factors offsetting this error.  When was the last time someone checked the pressure 🙂 I am sure they don’t do pressure checks on a daily basis.

Rim size: If you change the diameter of your wheels you will affect the accuracy of the speedo. Changing from 16 inch wheels to 17inch wheels does not necessarily change the total diameter of the wheel. It depends a lot on the type of tire that is used. Changing to a wider diameter rim will usually result in a larger diameter wheel. A larger wheel causes your car to travel further with each revolution. If the speedo is not recalibrated it may under-read, which will mean your actual speed might be greater than that displayed on your speedo. If you are increasing the rim size of your tires, you should recalibrate your speedo to make sure you do not inadvertently exceed the speed limit.

Differential ratios: Changing the gear sizes in your vehicle’s differential or gear box can affect the accuracy of the speedometer, resulting in either over-reading or under-reading depending on what the change was.

Vehicle load: When you load your car the tires carry more weight, which can cause them to depress slightly and have a smaller diameter. This can cause an over-reading. It can never cause under-reading. It can not cause you to exceed the speed limit unknowingly. Just as you calibrate your bathroom scales when there is no weight onboard, so too are car speedos calibrated when there is no extra load on the tires.

Speedo Displays: Many modern speedos display in increments of 5 kmh and do not easily display speeds down to 1kmh accuracy. The needle mechanism has its own accuracy limitations. Some old vehicles will have faulty speedos or they have fallen out of calibration, or the needle may wag up and down slightly making it difficult to determine exactly what speed is being displayed.

Speedo Needles: The size and shape of needles can make it difficult to tell exactly what speed is displayed. Given the variables mentioned above, the observable displayed speed is a reasonably accurate, and usually conservative, estimate of actual speed.

These potential errors have been widely known for decades.


The list goes on as to why this so called speed enforcement process is completely … and uterly … INACCURATE!

The drivers that were issued fines using that process should DEMAND A REFUND or the CITOM do the right thing and contact those drivers who were fined on SRP and issue a refund.  Sorry, but you just applied “dumb logic” to enforce the law and penalise drivers.



Published in Traffic Laws


  1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
    Captain PFB

    FHPS, The method of determining if someone is over-speeding by traveling the speed limit and if someone passes you, they are over-speeding is called “clocking”. Before the widespread use of radar guns, this was the method all law enforcement used in USA and pretty much any other country.

    Another method is to match the speed of the suspected speeder, and determine the speed at which the speeder is traveling. Most law enforcement would not bother with speeders who were over speeding under 10mph over the speed limit, to give a handicap to the possible difference in accuracy. Cop’s word over speeder’s word was always accepted in courts everywhere. Still is in many cases.

    As far as accuracy, in a court of law, patrol cars would have monthly calibrations on the vehicles, and it would be fully documented, and accepted in court.

    There is nothing out of the ordinary in the clocking method. In the USA, I have never been pulled over and cited for speeding when I was not speeding. Before radar, I have gotten several speeding citations over my lifetime by method of clocking, and to be honest, I deserved them because I know I was speeding. Again, I have never been cited for speeding when I was not speeding. But that’s in the USA. We’re talking about Philippines. Whole different story.

    When it comes to cop’s word against defendant’s word, god only knows who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.

    On the same note, just as taxi meters can be manipulated, so can radar guns. So what is the difference? If a cop or law enforcement agency wants to increase revenue, they can simply manipulate the radar guns.

    So it really doesn’t matter what method is used to determine speed. Here in Philippines, they are corrupt idiots who just can’t be honest to save their pathetic lives. So in my opinion, it’s all moot. All you can do is continuously hope you don’t end up a victim of their corruption. If you do, there’s not much you can do about it. The odds are against you.


      1. Profile gravatar of Don Papa
        Don Papa

        Ltfrb, LTO’s, police, pnp, npa, milf, all are taking their own territory in the streets, highways to “kotong” money from motorists who are in a rush. thus the term kotong cops.

    1. Profile gravatar of FHPS
      FHPS Post author

      @filofail ok Captain.. I see, based on the expression “you were clocked at…”
      In some countries on youtube you will see
      the fine being issued for speed based on the cops interpretation how fast they were
      doing based on his time and years in the force.
      issuing fines based on estimation is not good.

      I had been pulled over twice and the driver paid around 300p to the enforcer
      just leaves money on lap and the guy takes it.

      I saw another corrupt transaction taking place as i was walking
      past and the enforcer saw me watching this
      going past. On the way back i could have been his
      embarassment – he was all over me with
      “hey sir, how you doing, good afternoon and 1000 other greetings”.
      long lost brother because I

      1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
        Captain PFB

        It’s been the system used and accepted for decades before radar. I understand that you don’t agree with it, and nobody says it’s a perfect system, as there are no perfect systems. But it was the only way at the time before radar. There are police departments that still don’t have radar, and still use the clocking system. Anyone can contest a citation, and if they can convince a judge, then good for them. But again, the clocking system has been a standard operating procedure since motor cars were invented.

        Issuing fines based on estimation was the only way for a long long time. That’s why the fine increases in increments of 10mph over the speed limit. Gives room for error or approximation.

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      hahaha! Yeah I caught that too. Just read any Filipino newspaper and there are not many articles that aren’t peppered with grammar and spelling errors. Idiots.

      1. Profile gravatar of FHPS
        FHPS Post author

        yes, my local friend who does translations said even in Visayan they cant even write correct grammar and get the tense of the article write ie. past present future. One article abou soemone that was shot had an incorrect visayan word … will be shot .. 🙂 …

  2. Profile gravatar of FilamboredinthePH

    Wait South Coastal Road has a limit of 40?! WTF? In the entire visayas region I’m going to go ahead and make the claim that the SCR is probably the widest most American feeling road. It’s very smooth, proper curbs, medians, free of trikes, and no buildings on it for a long long stretch. I mean for anyone driving a motorcycle/car that belongs in the 1st world, SCR IS THE ROAD you go to just so you feel for a short while what it’s like to drive at a set speed without having to fucking weave all over the place.

    With all that said there are still idiots that drive any speed they want in ANY lane they want despite it being three lanes. That’s where your accidents are coming from. Huge speed differentials plus the Filipino inabiliy to ever fucking stay in one lane for more than three seconds without drifting. So they want to ruin the only nice road in the entire region by forcing everyone to drive at fucking scooter speeds on a 6 lane road? More fail in the Philippines.

    1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
      Captain PFB

      My thoughts exactly. Just more instances that show Philippines is like a bunch of little children who have not yet developed logic and reasoning skills pretending / playing like they’re a country.

      1. Profile gravatar of

        What about 2 lanes that becomming 3 or 4 lanes? 😀 I experience it every day and my driving is not getting better out of it.

  3. Profile gravatar of FHPS
    FHPS Post author

    @filofail I was checking the SRP tunnel and there was a BIG debate as the papers and locals referred to the tunnel as SUBWAY. Some foreigners said its a TUNNEL not a subway. Well the local idiots all barred up by the look of it and chastised people saying its a subway.
    when i last checked the debate still raged:

    1. subway
    2. tunnel
    3. underpass
    +danoy rivero with due respect the term SUBWAY may be used for trains running underground and can also be used as a term for tubes or underground tunnels used by cars..TERMINOLOGIES depend on the places where they are used. In the US, subway is popularly used to call for metros or trains underground while in other places such as the Philippines where there is no metro system or subway train system, such SUBWAY terminology referring to tunnels underground or underwater is still appropriate. 

    It’s not cebu city’s first, but Philippine’s first subway….

    The fucking idiots are still debating whether subways take trains,

    … no no .. its a VIADUCT

    …. more idiots in the Philippines!

  4. Profile gravatar of FHPS
    FHPS Post author

    30 kilometers speed limit ?
    could it be:

    1. so the rubbish doesnt blow off the back of the rusko?
    2. so lola and people sitting on plastic chairs on the back of a rusko don’t get blown off?
    3. so as not to hit the drunks and people jaywalking?
    4. so as not to hit the dogs running around?
    5. so as not to skid on any rubbish that people throw from their cars?
    6. so that if you see a car coming up the wrong lane you have time to react?
    7. so as the rusko drivers wont get embarassed at how slow those things go?
    8. so the people can admire the world class city and the rubbish and squats of pasil driving past?