By Chito Chavez
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) signed an agreement that would classify roads for speed limit setting.
In joint memorandum circular (JMC), the three agencies will release the guidelines on speed limits while creating coordinated mechanisms on their implementation on national roads to promote road safety.
The signing is in support of Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
Section 35 of the code states that motorists negotiating highways shall do so at a careful and prudent speed.
It also calls for the drivers to drive within the speed limit so as not to endanger public safety.
The agreement allows the national and local government units to coordinate with each other in enforcing the speed limits on various roads.
Under section 38 of the Local Government Code, the LGUs are mandated to classify roads within their turfs in imposing the desired speed limits.
Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP)will provide support to the joint agreement.
Speed and road crash
A WHO study said speed is the most contributory factor in road crashes that result to severe injuries.
The WHO report revealed that just one kilometer per hour increase in speed also ups the risk of injury by at least 3 percent and the risk of death by 4 to 5 percent.
Studies show that speed is the major cause in 30 percent of fatal road crashes and an aggravating factor of 50 percent of fatal road accidents.
In the same WHO study, it was revealed that speed limit and enforcement are considered efficient and cost-efficient measures that reduce the number of fatal road accidents.
The DOTr has also partnered with the World Bank in creating a system for road crash data collection.
The DOTr explained the Data for Road Incident Validation Visualization and Reporting (DRIVER) system is web application designed to view, collect, and analyze road data in the Philippines.
Included in the system is the viewing of traffic incidents, disruptions and crimes.
The web-based platform also facilitates the gathering of data while allowing for better allocation of resources as it comes with data visualization tools.