By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Current and future drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) by July will be required to undergo a refresher course on road safety.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday launched the PUV Drivers’ Academy which aims to instill discipline and road safety measures among drivers of public transport vehicles.
On Friday, LTFRB officials inked a memorandum of agreement with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), as well as road and traffic experts from the University of the Philippines’ National Center for Transportation Studies, Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Government, De La Salle University’s College of Liberal Arts and the Automobile Association of the Philippines who would facilitate and create modules for the Drivers’ Academy.
Under the academy, drivers will undergo a free one-day session on road safety measures such as a review of traffic signs, use of seatbelts, among others; traffic laws, as well as anger management to prevent road rage. The LTFRB will also educate the driver-students on the terms of the franchises given to their operators.
LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said the Drivers’ Academy will be piloted in Metro Manila and will be held at the LTFRB Central Office in Quezon City twice a week. Each class will take in 100 PUV drivers.
The LTFRB will release a memorandum circular that will require all PUV operators to have their drivers re-trained.
Once effective, the drivers may apply for the academy and schedule their class.
Lizada said they hope to train in a year the drivers of more than 400,000 PUVs registered in the country.
To make sure all PUV drivers comply, the LTFRB will check their list of drivers of authorized operators. They also plan to create a database of PUV drivers to record their employment history and determine if there are pending complaints against them.
Lizada said that through the Drivers’ Academy, there will be less accidents caused by reckless drivers.
She said that this will also protect PUV operators and ensure that their drivers they hire completed training from the LTFRB.
Lizada said drivers should pass the academy to be able to man PUVs. If they fail, they would have to retake the class.
Passing drivers will be given identification cards as a certification that they underwent the Drivers’ Academy. The IDs will be valid for one year.
“If within the one-year period we see lesser accidents, then we can extend (its validity). We will see. We will evaluate and review if this can be extended. For the meantime, we need to get a grip of all the PUVs and their drivers,” said Lizada.
Tags: Ateneo de Manila University's School of Government, Automobile Association of the Philippines, De La Salle University's College of Liberal Arts, Driver's Academy, LTFRB, LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada, Manila Bulletin, public utility vehicles, PUV drivers to undergo course on road safety, University of the Philippines' National Center for Transportation Studies