Penalty for No Early Warning Device (EWD) Violation

In adherence to the government’s commitment to road safety, numerous regulations have been implemented over the years. One such imperative directive is the Letter of Instruction No. 229, along with its subsequent amendments, emphasizing the requirement to carry, at all times, a set of Early Warning Devices (EWD) for motor vehicle emergencies. This article delves into the significance of EWD, its specifications, and the associated fines and penalties to ensure compliance.

More than its safety benefits, especially as a preventive tool for accidents in cases of emergencies, carrying around a set of EWDs is mandated by the law, so failure to do so is considered a violation by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Like any other traffic and driving violations, there are associated fines and penalties for drivers who fail to drag around a set of Early Warning Devices (EWDs).

no early warning device penalty lto

What is an EWD?

An Early Warning Device (EWD) on motor vehicles is a safety device designed to alert other motorists about a potential hazard or obstruction on the road. It serves as a visual indicator, especially in situations where a vehicle is stalled, disabled, or parked for an extended period, ensuring that approaching drivers can take necessary precautions and avoid accidents.

Also read: LTO Muffler Law: Sound Level Standards for Motor Vehicles

EWDs is a safety tool mandated by regulations to signal potential hazards on the road. Its triangular, highly visible design and reflective features contribute to the overall goal of preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of both the disabled vehicle and other road users.

Purpose and Usage of EWDs

The directive mandates all owners, users, or drivers of motor vehicles to carry at least one pair of EWD, consisting of one red and one yellow triangular reflectorized plate. When a vehicle is stalled, disabled, or parked for an extended period, the driver must install the EWD at least four meters away from the front and rear of the vehicle.

This precautionary measure aims to alert other motorists, mitigating the risk of accidents and ensuring overall road safety.

penalty for no early warning device in philippines

ALAMIN: Ang Early Warning Device (EWD) ay mandatory accessory para sa lahat ng sasakyan, maliban sa traysikel at motorsiklo. Ang pares ng EWD ay kailangang laging dala ng drayber at dapat maipresinta sa LTO deputized law enforcer kapag nahuli.

Ang paggamit nito ay kailangang apat (4) na metro ang layo mula sa harapan at likod ng sasakyan kung sakaling nasiraan sa kalsada o biglang huminto ang sasakyan sa lugar kung saan hindi maaaring pumarada.

KNOW THIS: The Early Warning Device (EWD) is a mandatory accessory for all vehicles, except for tricycles and motorcycles. The pair of EWDs must always be carried by the driver and must be presented to LTO deputized law enforcers when caught.

Its use must be four (4) meters away from the front and rear of the vehicle in case of a breakdown on the road or when the vehicle suddenly stops in a place where it is not possible to park.

Key Features of an EWD

Here’s a detailed explanation of key aspects related to Early Warning Devices:

Physical Characteristics

 EWDs typically take the form of triangular, collapsible reflectorized plates. These plates are often in distinct colors, commonly red and yellow, to enhance visibility. The triangular shape and reflectorized surface contribute to their effectiveness in catching the attention of other road users.

Here are some guidelines as to how they are supposed to work:

1. The EWD should be a triangular, collapsible reflectorized plate in red and yellow colors, each side measuring at least 40 cm long and 5 cm wide.

2. Visibility is paramount, even under adverse weather conditions, requiring the triangle to be visible at a distance of at least 400 meters at high beam.

3. The reflectorized triangle must lean slightly backward, ensuring maximum visibility from its sides, and its lower edge should be at least 7 cm above the road surface.

4. The EWD must weigh a minimum of 1.25 kg, concentrated at the base, designed to withstand air currents generated by fast-moving vehicles.

5. Interestingly, no specific accreditation for suppliers or brands is enforced, allowing for homemade EWD, provided they adhere to the stipulated specifications.

Visibility Requirements

EWDs are constructed to be highly visible even under adverse weather conditions or during nighttime. The triangular design ensures visibility from various angles, and the reflectorized surface enables the device to catch and reflect light, making it noticeable from a considerable distance.

Usage Requirement

The primary purpose of EWD is to be deployed when a motor vehicle is stalled, disabled, or parked for an extended period on a street, highway, or expressway.

According to regulations, the device should be installed at least four meters away from the front and rear of the vehicle to effectively warn oncoming traffic.

Legal Compliance

 In many jurisdictions, the installation of EWD on motor vehicles is a legal requirement. It is often mandated by government regulations to ensure road safety. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines or other penalties.

Weight and Stability

EWDs are designed to have a specific weight, typically a minimum of 1.25 kilograms, with the weight concentrated at the base. This design ensures stability, preventing the device from being easily displaced by air currents generated by passing vehicles.

Angle and Height Placement

To maximize visibility, EWDs are designed to lean slightly backward, typically at an angle ranging from five to ten degrees perpendicular to the roadway. Additionally, the lower edge of the reflectorized triangle should be a specified distance above the surface of the road.

Adherence to Specifications

 While there may be guidelines and specifications for the design and construction of EWDs, some regulations explicitly state that no accreditation for suppliers or brands is enforced. This allows for flexibility, permitting the use of homemade EWDs as long as they adhere to the specified criteria.

using early warning device ewd philippines for emergency
sample photo of using EWD in Philippines during emergency

Benefits of Having an Early Warning Device for Your Car

The installation of Early Warning Devices (EWD) on motor vehicles holds paramount importance in ensuring road safety and preventing accidents. Here are several key reasons why the implementation of EWD is crucial:

1. Accident Prevention: EWD serves as a visual alert to other motorists, signaling that a vehicle is stalled, disabled, or parked. This early warning is instrumental in preventing rear-end collisions or other accidents, especially in situations where visibility might be compromised.

2. Enhanced Visibility: The triangular, reflectorized design of EWD ensures high visibility, even under adverse weather conditions or low-light situations. This is critical for alerting approaching drivers and creating a clear indication of potential hazards on the road.

3. Compliance with Regulations: Many countries have regulations mandating the installation of EWD on motor vehicles. Adhering to these regulations not only ensures legal compliance but also contributes to the overall safety ecosystem on the roads.

4. Emergency Preparedness: EWD acts as an essential tool for emergency preparedness. In the event of a breakdown or sudden stoppage, having EWD readily available allows drivers to quickly alert others, reducing the risk of oncoming traffic-related incidents.

5. Quick Identification of Disabled Vehicles: EWD enables swift identification of disabled vehicles, allowing approaching drivers to adjust their speed and course accordingly. This minimizes the chances of sudden lane changes or abrupt stops, decreasing the likelihood of accidents.

6. Traffic Management: When vehicles are stalled or disabled, the proper use of EWD assists in efficient traffic management. It provides a clear indication to other drivers to take necessary precautions, helping to maintain a smooth flow of traffic and preventing congestion.

7. Prevention of Secondary Accidents: In situations where a vehicle is immobilized on a busy road, the use of EWD helps prevent secondary accidents. By giving ample warning to approaching drivers, the likelihood of chain-reaction collisions is reduced.

8. Standardization of Safety Measures: The specifications outlined for EWD, including size, color, and visibility requirements, contribute to standardization in safety measures. This ensures that all motor vehicles are equipped with a consistent and effective means of signaling distress.

9. Public Awareness and Education: The requirement for EWD fosters public awareness about the importance of road safety. It educates drivers about the significance of taking proactive measures to prevent accidents and emphasizes responsible behavior on the road.

10. Reduced Severity of Accidents: In scenarios where accidents cannot be entirely avoided, the early warning provided by EWD contributes to a reduction in the severity of collisions. Other drivers have more time to react and take evasive action, potentially minimizing injuries and damage.

Public Information Dissemination

Regional directors play a pivotal role in disseminating public information regarding EWD specifications, emphasizing its requirement for vehicle registration. This proactive approach ensures that motorists are well-informed about the necessity and specifications of EWD.

Fines and Penalties for No EWD LTO

1. Motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles, are ineligible for registration by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) unless equipped with the prescribed EWD.

2. Failure to install the EWD during vehicle stalling or disablement incurs a fine of P300.00, with the driver’s license being suspended for 30 days.

3. If the failure to install EWD results in an accident, the driver faces more severe consequences, including license suspension for up to two years or even revocation, contingent upon the circumstances.

4. LTO employees or officials involved in the registration of motor vehicles without the required EWD face administrative sanctions, emphasizing the accountability of those within the regulatory system.

5. Any LTO official or employee violating the provisions outlined in this circular is subject to administrative consequences, underscoring the importance of adherence to road safety regulations.

How to Install and Set up Early Warning Device on the Road

Here are the steps on how to properly install and set up an Early Warning Device (EWD) on the road:

  1. Always carry at least one pair of EWD in your motor vehicle, consisting of one red and yellow triangle.
  2. In case of a vehicle stall or disablement on the road, park your vehicle at least 4 meters away from the front and rear, and install the EWD on both sides.

Video: Importance of Emergency Warning Device

Here’s a knowledge report by UNTV about the importance of Early Warning Device to prevent road accidents and promote road safety. Watch and learn more about this mandatory vehicle requirement.

Let us all remember that a little precaution goes a long way in ensuring our safety on the road. So let’s make sure to comply with the use of Early Warning Devices and do our part in promoting a safer and more responsible driving culture.


The installation of Early Warning Devices (EWDs) on motor vehicles is not merely a regulatory obligation but a fundamental step toward fostering a safer road environment. By promoting visibility, alertness, and efficient traffic management, EWD significantly contributes to accident prevention and overall road safety.The stringent LTO regulations requiring drivers to have Early Warning Devices (EWDs) available on the motor vehicles is a testament to the agency’s continuing efforts to enhance road safety by providing clear signals to other motorists during emergencies.

Adherence to these guidelines is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial step in minimizing accidents and promoting responsible driving. Through effective public information dissemination and enforcement of fines and penalties, the government seeks to create a safer and more secure road environment for all.

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