Legality of motorcycle ban on highways

In Mirasol v. DPWH, the petitioners assailed the validity of Administrative Order No. 1 of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which prohibited motorcycles on limited access highways on the basis of Republic Act No. 2000 (Limited Access Highway Act).

The Supreme Court held that not all motorized vehicles are created equal. A 16-wheeler truck is substantially different from other light vehicles. The first may be denied access to some roads where the latter are free to drive. Old vehicles may be reasonably differentiated from newer models.

The Court found that real and substantial differences exist between a motorcycle and other forms of transport sufficient to justify its classification among those prohibited from plying the toll ways. Among all types of motorized transport, it is obvious, even to a child, that a motorcycle is quite different from a car, a bus or a truck. The most obvious and troubling difference would be that a two-wheeled vehicle is less stable and more easily overturned than a four-wheeled vehicle.

A classification based on practical convenience and common knowledge is not unconstitutional simply because it may lack purely theoretical or scientific uniformity. Moreover, the Philippines is home to a host of unique motorized modes of transport ranging from modified hand-carts (kuliglig) to bicycle "sidecars" outfitted with a motor. Both safety and traffic considerations militate against any ruling that would bring about such a nightmare. (G.R. NO. 158793)