De Lima files bill for pedestrian safety and convenience

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has filed a measure which seeks to mandate local government units (LGUs) to remove any obstructions along sidewalks and public roads that jeopardize the safety and convenience of the pedestrians and motorists.

Alarmed at the growing road-related deaths and injuries, De Lima filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1905, to be known as “Pedestrian Safety Act,” which seeks to implement measures that would free sidewalks and public roads of any obstructions that impede the public safety and convenience.

“Given the large number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries, there is an urgent need for the government to make our streets pedestrian-friendly,” she said.

“These road-related injuries can be prevented when the government takes some action to address the problems in road safety,” she added.

Based on the Global Status Report on Road Safety released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015, more than 1.25 million people die and 50 million more injured from road-related incidents every year globally.

In Metro Manila, there were 446 fatalities and 20,876 injuries recorded in road accidents in 2016, with 44 percent of the deaths and 24 percent of those injured being pedestrians.

“What is extremely troubling is that an average of 670 children have perished from 2006 to 2015, from road accidents,” the Senator from Bicol pointed out.

De Lima explained that most of these road accidents can be prevented if the both of the pedestrians and motorists alike are well-informed of their rights and duties, along with a strict adherence to long-established traffic rules and regulations.

“Unarguably, road accidents are not only caused by erring motorists who refuse to follow the Traffic Code and give way to pedestrians, but likewise by pedestrians who stubbornly place themselves in harm’s way,” she said.

Under SB No. 1905, all pedestrians are prohibited from walking along and upon the portion of a public road paved for vehicular traffic and are required to walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel when sidewalks are not provided.

She also proposed, among others, that no person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device, may go upon any public road except while crossing a street on a crosswalk.

As for motorists, De Lima proposed that when traffic control signals are not in place and no sign indicates otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield by slowing down or stopping if needed to a pedestrian crossing the road within a marked crosswalk.

De Lima also suggested that a driver should be obliged to bring his vehicle to a full stop when a pedestrian is trying to cross a public road, guided by a dog guide or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick.

Under this proposed measure, local government units are to provide sidewalks when there are none, clear any obstructions, and install high visible signs whenever there are ongoing construction activities in the vicinity.

Under this bill, any person who suffers damage to himself or his property as a result of inadequate sidewalks may file an action for damages against any juridical person or local government unit responsible in the area.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

[email protected]

© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.