Road safety advocates commit to reduce road deaths via speed limits

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    Strict speed limit enforcement to curb speed-related road deaths

    SUMMING up a week of presentations, exchanges of ideas, development of processes such as implementation for officer training, and virtual forum on the last day, stakeholders ended the event “Safer Speeds Now: Saving Lives through Speed Enforcement” with a renewed commitment to reduce speed-related deaths through a more rigid implementation of speed limit laws.

    Stakeholders led by non-profit organizations ImagineLaw, the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Office (LTO), joined a week-long Facebook event.

    The concluding session on October 2 was a forum to provide updates to the public on the efforts toward increasing the level of speed enforcement in the country.

    “Safer Speeds Now: Saving Lives through Speed Enforcement” is our progress report and affirmation of our continuing commitment to help government increase the level of speed enforcement in the country, and ultimately reduce the rising number of deaths in our roads, Atty. Sophia San Luis, Executive Director of ImagineLaw said.

    The October 2 virtual forum concluded the series, and focused on the DOTr’s and LTO’s continuing efforts to enhance speed enforcement in the country. LTO Law Enforcement Service Director Clarence Guinto shared about the agency’s plans to institutionalize enforcement operations based on speed management practices learned from past trainings-of-trainers.

    “In the coming months, we will make every effort to increase speed limit enforcement in the Philippines by procuring speed guns, deputizing more enforcers, continuing the training-of-trainers program, and develop a speed enforcement action plan in collaboration with relevant government agencies,” LTO Law Enforcement Service Director Clarence Guinto said.

    GRSP experts Robert Susanj and Mark Stables also graced the event to share about the results and recommendations following the successful run of several speed enforcement trainings in the past year.

    “We were very pleased to find how the trainers and officers paid special attention to the practical implementation of speed enforcement in real traffic situation — how they chose location, how they understood the importance of safety when conducting speed enforcement, and how aware they were of the importance of credibility and professionalism in the field,” Susanj, a former Director of Slovenian Traffic Police and now a consultant for GRSP shared.

    Since October 2019, more than 150 law enforcement officers from the LTO, Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and local government units (LGUs) participated in national and pilot regional speed enforcement training led by Susanj and Stables.

    Stables, former national advisor in charge of road crash investigation in New Zealand and now a consultant for GRSP shared that “the project on strengthening speed management in the Philippines was a testament to what we can achieve if we have professional and very credible partners for organization and implementation on one hand and motivated and knowledgeable participants on the other.”

    Through the event, road safety stakeholders led by LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante affirmed their commitment to ensuring safer Philippine roads through heightened and sustained speed limit enforcement. Representing different organizations, the stakeholders recognized the rising number of road crash fatalities as a public health crisis and committed to working together to prevent the unnecessary loss of life on the road.

    “We reiterate LTO’s commitment to promote road safety and address the risk factors on speeding in the country. We are given a daunting task ahead of us but we are confident that it can be done through strong enforcement of road safety laws, and more importantly, through collaboration among stakeholders,” according to Asec. Galvante.

    Aside from the declaration of commitment, ImagineLaw and GRSP turned-over a speed enforcement package and instructional video to guide local law enforcement officers in enforcing safer speed limits in the Philippines beyond the end of the project.

    The event ended with DOTr Asistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor leaving an inspiring message to the audience – “The DOTr, along with its local and international partners will continue the grind until all levels of our society have the capacity to implement the good laws and policies on road safety. Most importantly, we will strive to invest in the needed technologies and tools to make a maximum road safety environment in the country.”

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