Bill seeking better road and safety signs to lessen accidents pushed in Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   June 16, 2021   •   270

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday filed a bill seeking to mandate government agencies to set up the road and other public safety signages that follow international standards.

Poe filed Senate Bill 2293 or the Public Safety Signages Accountability Act which aims to lessen road accidents by providing citizens with timely and correct information on traffic instructions, road hazards, and other warning signages.

“Articles and images of faulty or questionable signages have been reported throughout the years and such still remain as evident threats to both motorists and pedestrians,” she said in a statement.

Citing data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Poe said that 121,771 road crashes, 372 of which were fatal, were recorded in 2019.

In 2020, the MMDA still registered 65,032 road crashes despite mobility restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While other factors contribute to accidents, Poe believes that installing visible road signs at ideal distances is clearly a must to protect and save many lives.

Under the bill, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will take charge of the public safety signs on national roads.

The MMDA will oversee national roads in Metro Manila while local government units will take responsibility for local roads.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) will be asked to update the geohazard map and identify areas susceptible to floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the like, and coordinate with the DPWH and MMDA on setting up the necessary signs.

In case of death or injury due to the lack or absence of proper safety signage in an area identified as potentially risky, the bill also provides penalties to government officials who will be found remiss after due process.

Violators may face the penalty of suspension of one month and a day to three months for the first offense, suspension of up to six months for the second offense, up to one year and a day for the third offense, and dismissal from service on the fourth offense.

The Philippines ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals in 1973 to harmonize the country’s traffic signs and symbols with international standards and promote road safety, Poe said.

Duterte signs law requiring child restraint system in vehicles

Robie de Guzman   •   March 13, 2019

Photo credit: Pieter Kuiper on Wikimedia Commons

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law mandating special protection for child passengers in motor vehicles.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act on February 22, nearly a month after the enrolled bill was transmitted to Malacañang for his approval. A copy of the law was released by the Palace on Tuesday, March 12.

The law aims to guarantee the safety and welfare of children, aged 12 and below, and requires vehicle drivers to use restraint systems when transporting children.

A child restraint system refers to a device capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position designed to diminish the risk of injury in the event of a collision or of abrupt deceleration of the vehicle by limiting the mobility of the child’s body.

The law states that the restraint system should be appropriate to the child’s age, height and weight, and approved in accordance with safety standards for child restraint system set by the United Nations.

Children are prohibited from sitting at the front seat of the vehicle, unless the child is at least 150 centimeters or 56 inches in height and can properly fit in the regular seat belt in the front seat.

The law also stated that at no instance shall a child being secured in a child restraint system be left unaccompanied by an adult in a motor vehicle.

The measure does not require the use of child restraint system in cases that would put the child in greater danger such as during medical emergencies, when the child transported has a medical or developmental condition.

Violators of the law shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 and suspension of driver’s license for one year for the third and succeeding offense.

Tampering of PS mark or Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker is punishable by a fine of P50,000 but not more than P100,000 for each and every child restraint system product.

The measure also mandates the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to adopt safety measures and issue regulations for the safe and secure transportation of children using public utility vehicles. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) should be drafted and finalized six months from the effectivity of the law. – Robie de Guzman

Congress eyes Int’l Standards Certification for bus operators

admin   •   April 20, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Provincial bus terminal

FILE PHOTO: Provincial bus terminal

MANILA — Congress is pushing to legalize mandatory International Standards Certification (ISC) for bus operators and companies to minimize incidents of road mishaps.

The Lower House is pushing for the investigation of the bus crash in Nueva Ecija which left at least 30 passengers dead and over 40 injured.

Quezon City representative Alfred Vargas said it is high time for a law that would regulate the use of old buses for public transportation to lessen the occurrence of road accidents.

Caloocan City representative Edgar Erice is pushing for the passage of the Public Utility Bus Safety Bill.

Under the proposed bill, all bus operators will be required to have International Standards Certification wherein they need to pass the standards of safe and high quality service to the public.

“Lahat ng aspect ng operation ng isang bus company sa maintenance, to passenger safety ay mamomonitor (All aspects of operation of a bus company from maintenance to passengers’ safety will be monitored),” Rep. Edgar Erice said.

Erice believes that by doing so, the roads will be rid of irresponsible bus operators.

“Mawawala lahat ng mga kolorum, mawawala lahat nung mga walang kakayanan na mag-maintain, siguruhin ang safety ng kanilang pasahero (All colorum PUV’s will be gone. Those who have no competence for maintenance, securing the safety of their passengers will be gone),” Erice added.

The Provincial Bus Operators Association is also in favor of the proposal.

“Oo syempre alam mo buhay ng tao ang invovled dito, ang nakakalungkot pa rito ang apektado mahihirap nating mga kababayan (Of course, a person’s life is involved here. What’s even more saddening, the people who are mostly affected are the poor citizens),”  PBOA Executive Director Engr. Alejandro Yague Jr. said.  — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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