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Saturday, May 13, 2017

DOTr to Prioritize Institutionalization of Road Safety Initiatives



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In celebration of the Global Road Safety Week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced various road safety initiatives of the government to minimize the number of fatal road crashes in the Philippines.

With speed as the Global Road Safety Week’s focus, as expressed in its theme: Save Lives #SlowDown, the DOTr announced two new policies targeting speed as a road safety risk factor.

In a Road Safety forum organized by ImagineLaw last May 9, DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark Richmund De Leon announced that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10916 or the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016, which requires Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) to install devices designed to limit the maximum speed of vehicles, has been completed and is set to be released in the coming weeks.

A joint memorandum circular on speed limit setting and enforcement will also be issued jointly by the DOTr, DILG and DPWH. With this, the DOTr hopes to increase speed enforcement activities in the Philippines when more LGUs enact and enforce speed limit ordinances. The joint circular also contains coordination mechanisms to allow LGUs to lower speed limits on national roads with high pedestrian mix, such as school zones and market areas.

Apart from these speed-related initiatives, Asec. De Leon announced that the DOTr has recently signed the Implementing Rules and Regulatons of Republic Act No. 10666 or the Safety of Children Aboard Motorcycles Act, and Republic Act No. 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act. The Safety of Children Aboard Motorcycles Act prohibits children who cannot reach the foot peg of a motorcycle and cannot fully hold on to the driver, from riding motorcycles on thoroughfares with high traffic volumes. Meanwhile, the Anti-Distracted Driving Act prohibits the use of electronic devices while driving.

The Data for Road Incident Visualization Evaluation and Reporting (DRIVER) System, an open-source online platform developed by the DOTr in partnership with the WorldBank, was also presented during the Global Road Safety Week celebration. The program aims to improve road crash data collection and analysis to enable government to introduce more strategic and timely road safety interventions. LGUs will also be able to use the DRIVER System for evaluation, monitoring and local road safety policy-making. With the joint circular and linkages with other government agencies, the DOTr hopes to extend the coverage of the system, from Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Dipolog to the rest of the country.

To highlight the Global Road Safety Week celebration, representatives from government agencies, civil society organizations, the academe and other stakeholders, signed a declaration of commitment to improve speed limit enforcement in the Philippines.

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