CEBU CITY – The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) submitted a position paper on the implementation of the Joint Task Force COVID-19 requirement on the installation of barriers between the driver and rider in motorcycles as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to PSME National President Jeffrey Singson, the organization’s position was based on the science and engineering of how air interacts with moving bodies, or in the engineering community, they call it fluid dynamics or aerodynamics.
“Based on our analysis, the barrier may contribute negatively to safety, health, economy and environment,” the paper read.
On safety, PSME said that, with the barrier attached either to the motorcycle, to the rider, or as held by the back rider, this would compromise the safety of the riders.
“When the motorcycle is in motion, the barrier will contribute to the change of the designed allowable aerodynamic forces or its drag and lift, which will compromise the stability of the motorcycle, hence, placing the safety of the riders at risk,” the position paper read.
On health, Singson said that, with the barrier attached when the motorcycle is in motion, the front side of the barrier builds up pressure while creating turbulence and suction behind the barrier.
“This will not guarantee that the barrier will be effective in protecting both riders from the spread of air particles to each other,” Singson stated.
On the economy and environment, the PSME position said the attached barrier increases the air resistance of the motorcycle when in motion, and this directly affects the economy of the motorcycle, resulting to increase in fuel consumption, and contribute to the increase in emission and air pollutants that ultimately affects the environment.
Singson said that the PSME believed that the barrier will not serve as health and safety measure to protect the riders from COVID-19. Instead, it may compromise safety, health, economy and the environment in the long run.