My friend was driving home along CCP in Pasay City. The traffic was moderate because it was late at night. He stopped behind a car because the traffic light turned red. He put the car in neutral and stepped lightly on the brakes. He did not notice that his car was still moving and slowly hit the bumper of the car in front of him. The collision caused a tiny dimple on the bumper without even damaging the car's paint. According to him, it was hardly noticeable. My friend approached the owner of the other car, a lady, who didn't seem to be mad at him, and he apologized profusely willing to shoulder the expenses of the repair. The lady on the other hand, insisted to just have the insurance company shoulder the repairs, since it was a company car. My friend acquiesced and together they approached the police station in front of CCP wherein the officer told them to go somewhere else because according to the officer, the area was out of their jurisdiction.
My friend and the lady found a police station along macapagal ave., they reported the incident, and the police officer took pictures of the vehicles and made a police report. All of these were, on the lady's part, for the purpose of reporting to the insurance company. My friend and the lady both paid for the police report. Then the officer confiscated my friend's license and said that they will hold it for a couple of days to wait for complaints from the lady(there was none). Then, he gave my friend a traffic violation ticket citing the offense as Sec. 57 - Involved in accident - damage to property.
According to the enumeration, Sec. 57 is labeled reckless driving. The penalty for such a violation is P2000 +200 for every working day that the license was not claimed. The license has been unclaimed for almost six months now.
The problem is, none of this was explained by the enforcer who issued the ticket, so the penalty we imagine has racked up already. We only learned about it when we went to the Traffic Management Office of Pasay.
The issues I would like to raise are:
1. How do you define reckless driving (I believe the definition should be uniform across the country and only the amount of the fines are allowed to be modified by ordinances.)
2. Was what happened to my friend reckless driving?
3.Considering that the other party in the incident did not file a complaint, and he was not apprehended nor caught in the act by the police officer, is my friend still liable?
3. What are the possible remedies for this? My friend is only a student, and the penalties are too burdensome for him, and we both believe are not proportional to the offense if there was any.
We would appreciate any advise you can provide us. Thank you!