By Hannah Torregoza
Detained Senator Leila De Lima on Sunday called for an immediate review and possible revision of all national and local road signs and signals to minimize traffic and avoid confusion among pedestrians and motorists.
De Lima earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 662, asking the appropriate Senate committee to hold an inquiry on whether there is a need to standardize national and local road signs so they will conform to global benchmarks.
“It is the responsibility of the government to promote road safety in order to reduce the loss of lives and property due to road accidents and thus, there is a need to study whether our existing road signs and signals contribute to the rising number of road accidents nationwide,” De Lima said.
Citing a World Health Organization (WHO) study, De Lima said more than 1.2 million road traffic deaths occur globally each year. In the Philippines, 28 persons die every hour in road crashes.
The senator noted that some road signs were confusing, hardly visible from a distance or are installed in less noticeable places.
She also cited the need to “explore possible legislation to properly adopt, for all national and local road signs, the prescribed system of road signs and signals on color, size shape and height from the ground in accordance with the Convention.”
De Lima said such effective road signs are necessary once the road construction under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program starts, as the public braces for more road closures, excavations, detour and alternate routes.
She stressed the need to pinpoint the responsibilities of both local and national government in the construction of design, installation and maintenance of the road signs and signals.
De Lima said that as signatory to the 1973 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, the Philippines must implement the prescribed system of road signs, signals and symbols and of road markings necessary to increase road safety.