Senator Leila M. de Lima today questioned the apparent failure of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to implement the Road Speed Limiter Act which imposes speed limits on national roads to prevent more accidents.
De Lima lamented how the law requiring the mandatory installation of speed limiters in trucks and public utility vehicles (PUVs) is not yet fully realized more than a year after it was passed.
“Road accidents can be significantly reduced, if not at all prevented, if speed limiters have been installed on vehicles plying along national roads that have high volume of pedestrians, such as schools and market areas,” she said.
“I’d like to remind the DOTr and other agencies involved that this law should also be given priority because it will improve road safety and prevent careless drivers from acting as if they’re Kings of the Road,” she added.
De Lima made the call as she noted the apparent delay in the issuance and dissemination of Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Road Speed Limiter Law which has lapsed into law on July 16, 2016. “What is causing the delay in the issuance of the IRR? Are we afraid to run after big truck operators or isn’t the safety of ordinary people more important?” she asked.
Republic Act 10916, or the Road Speed Limiter Act, mandates speed limiter device on certain vehicles, such as cargo trailers, tanker trucks, company shuttles and PUVs, only with the exception of taxicabs, tricycles, and jeepneys.
Speed limiter is a device used to limit the top speed of a vehicle through the employment of mechanical, electronic or communications system or the combination of these systems.
RA 10916 prohibits violators from registering or receiving a franchise permit and the owners or operators face a P50,000 fine. The license of a driver operating a PUV without a speed limiter will be suspended or even revoked, a succeeding offense could lead to a one-year suspension and a fine for the third offense. Those caught tampering speed limiters face a six- to 36-month jail term plus a P30,000 fine.
Last Aug. 15, a 10-wheeler cement mixer truck crashed on a family car traversing Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City, leaving one dead on the spot and four others injured.
In defense, the truck driver claimed he was driving at a normal speed when he lost his brakes, which caused the cement mixer to tilt towards the other car. While initial investigation about the road mishap showed that the truck driver was not speeding during the incident, De Lima said the commitment to improve speed limit enforcement in the country could help prevent drivers from being reckless in the future.
“The number of fatalities caused by traffic injuries and road accidents in the country is growing. If we can prevent reckless drivers from speeding, we can lessen these road mishaps and save thousands of innocent lives,” she said.
Government figures showed that an average of 34 Filipinos are killed every day in road accidents while the number of deaths due to road crashes has been increasing since 2006.
According to the latest data from Philippine Statistics Authority, 8,666 people died due to road crashes in 2014, which accounts to 1,797 more deaths compared to the 6,869 deaths recorded in 2006.
De Lima, who is detained on trumped-up drug charges fabricated by the Duterte administration, continues to discharge her mandate as a legislator by filing resolutions and bills on legislative measures – ranging from institutionalizing human rights education to seeking an inquiry into the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs).