By Lourdes C. Escolano
REGULATING speed has proven to be a most effective way to reduce road crash fatalities.
Data from the Region 4-A (Calabarzon) Motor Vehicle Crash Investigation Program of the Land Transportation Office records a total of 65 road crashes in the first half of 2019 alone.
This resulted to a death rate of 86 percent or 56 fatalities with 357 injuries. Driving beyond the speed limit is seen as a big factor in the road crash rate in the region. The alarming numbers propelled regional LTO to ramp up its road safety efforts through effective enforcement of various existing regulations.
Focusing on driving beyond the speed limit, a regional training for LTO brought in participants from Calamba City, Laguna; the cities of Batangas, Santo Tomas, Tanauan, and Lipa; and the municipalities of Bauan, San Jose, and San Pascual in Batangas was held last November 25.
Receiving training from experts from Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), traffic enforcement officers at the R-4A LTO joined the training camp at Lima Park Hotel, Lipa-Malvar, Batangas. The training covered good practices and strategies for effective speed enforcement, including a demonstration on the correct use of speed guns and proper conduct of speed apprehensions. The GRSP team was flying back in the Philippines to monitor and evaluate other training activities it had done all over the country.
ImagineLaw, partnered with the DOTr and LTO in July this year to implement a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2018-001. The circular provides local government units (LGUs) with standards and guidelines on speed limit setting, road classification, and road crash data collection under the #SlowDownToSaveLives.
“We are doing this speed enforcement training to save lives. The positive response we are getting from the public means we are sending the right signal. It is now a matter of effectively enforcing and implementing the law,” LTO Assistant Regional Director Francisco Ranches Jr. said.
Aside from lectures, the participants headed to Talisay, Lipa Diversion Road on Monday and to Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway on Tuesday for practical speed enforcement exercises.
In the Philippines, the level of speed enforcement is low, because most local government units are unaware of their mandate to classify roads to set the appropriate speed limits under Republic Act No. 4136. This activity will help determine the safest and best speeds in certain sections of road, which will also determine the kind of enforcement needed.
“How fast we travel decides how hard we hit. Although a driver’s education plays an important role in road safety, we believe that speed limit enforcement is key to make drivers slow down,” said LTO Region 4-A Law Enforcement Team Leader Derwin Panganiban.
The region was among the first regions nationwide which has received a training from ImagineLaw.
The #SlowDownToSaveLives campaign is a policy initiative under the GRSP that aims to increase the level of speed limit enforcement in the country by encouraging LGUs to classify roads to be able to set speed limits based on actual road conditions.