Gov’t, private partner move to curb road crashes

MANILAThe government and a public interest law group on Thursday moved to address road crashes as they signed a joint memorandum circular enforcing a nationwide speed limit.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and ImagineLaw signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) NO. 2018-001 in Quezon City.

Lawyer Sophia San Luis, ImagineLaw executive director, said that despite laws addressing major road safety risks such as on the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, the number of road deaths have steadily climbed since 2006.

This is why two years ago we approached the government with an idea. You see, we know from studies that speed is the most significant road crash risk factor as it increases the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the resulting injuries, San Luis said.

Data from JMC 2018-001 show that the number of road crashes has been rising steadily with the latest figures coming from the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2016.

In the Philippines, the number of road crashes has been rising steadily from 12,875 in 2013 to 32,269 in 2016 based on data from the PNP, the JMC read.

In an effort to curb the number of accidents and deaths caused by over speeding, San Luis said they requested local government units to strictly enforce the speed limits with the help from the national government.

On January 2018, less than a year from their original meeting, JMC 2018-001 was released by the DOTR, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with ImagineLaw.

This joint memorandum circular not only provides guidelines on speed limit setting and enforcement, it mandates local government units to provide speed limit signs, it establishes coordination mechanisms between the national government and the local government unit, particularly with respect to national roads, San Luis said.

She added that the JMC mandates the DOTr and LTO to build the capacity of LGUs for speed enforcement. It mandates the collection of data so we can evaluate in terms of speed enforcement and road safety in general and it even provides local government units with template speed limit ordinance that they can easily enact in their jurisdiction.

Since the release of the JMC, the government - in cooperation with ImagineLaw - have trained 300 LGUs on enacting speed limits, from their target of 1,600 within the next three years.

On our part, ang timeline namin (our timeline) in order to train all government units on how to enact speed limit ordinances, we're hoping that in the next two-three years, we have already trained all of the LGUs in the country. In just a year, we managed to train three hundred out of the 1,600, San Luis said.

She said another recent progress on the enforcement of a national speed limit was the MMDA's issuance of regulation no. 19-001 which established a 60 kilometers per hour speed limit to all motor vehicles in circumferential roads and radial roads in Metro Manila.

International experts were also brought by ImagineLaw to the Philippines to train LTO personnel in speed limit enforcement in the coming months.

So ImagineLaw will be bringing in international policing experts to provide speed enforcement training to the LTO with support from the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund and the Global Road Safety Partnership, San Luis said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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