MANILA, Philippines — Vehicular accidents and people getting run over while crossing roads are reported in the news almost every day.
According to the International Road Assessment Program (IRAP), one of the reasons is the bad condition of roads in the country.
IRAP gave the Philippines a one to two-star rating only on road safety. Based on their study, narrow roads designed for single lane use only often accommodate two vehicles with only a painted line in the middle to separate them.
“That white line, it doesn’t do too much to protect you from death on a head-on crash. It’s one of the main ways that motorcyclists die from,” said IRAP’s managing director, Greg Smith.
A 2015 report of the World Health Organization stated that 53 percent of road accidents involved motorcycles while 19 percent involved pedestrians. The report also indicated that people between the ages of 15 to 29 are the ones who usually figure in road accidents.
According to the National Center for Transportation Studies of the University of the Philippines, roads in the country, particularly in Metro Manila, are dangerous.
And though the government is continuously working on making roads safer, experts say, the public should also learn to adjust and follow traffic rules.
“Kahit ang ganda ng infrastructure natin kapag hindi natin naintindihan na lahat ng tao ay may karapatang gumamit sa kalsada, hindi tayo uusad kahit malawak pedestrian. Kung gagamitin yun na parking, walang mangyayari,” said UP National Center for Transportation Studies director, Dr. Ma. Sheila Napalang.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), for its part, assured that it is doing all it can to make roads in the metropolis safer.
The MMDA also calls on the public to make use of pedestrian walkways, even the controversial footbridge along Scout Borromeo-EDSA, to avoid road accidents.
“Mamimili po kayo dito: mapapagod po kayo o babawian kayo ng buhay? Makikipagsapalaran po kayo sa EDSA,” said MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago.
Road safety advocates, meanwhile, suggests the inclusion of intensified promotions on road safety in the platform of political aspirants hoping to win a seat in the upcoming midterm elections. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue