By Ben Rosario
A party-list lawmaker wants motor vehicles running on the road to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters when overtaking cyclists, saying this is one way of protecting the motorists and cyclists from road accidents.
In filing House bill 8446, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio called on Congress colleagues to support the measure that could drastically reduce road accidents that sometimes result to deaths.
Tinio, a cycling enthusiast, said HB 8445, the Minimum Overtaking Distance Bill, will enhance the safety of cyclists who are the most vulnerable road users.
“In the absence of a nationwide network of cycling-friendly lanes, cyclists share the road with motor vehicles, exposing them daily to the risk of serious injury or death,” he said.
.The legislative proposal reflects similar laws already being implemented in many countries in the world.
Tinio said enacting the Minimum Overtaking Distance measure has long been the appeal of cyclists.
Citing data from the Metro Manila Development Authority, Tinio disclosed that in 2015 alone 26 cyclists and one pedestrian have been killed due to road mishaps involving motor vehicles and bicycles.
A total of 932 persons were injured in various bicycle related road accidents.
“Lives can be saved through new road rules, such as the Minimum Overtaking Distance law, rigorous enforcement of these rules by traffic authorities, and better discipline from drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.”
He added: “The passage of this bill is one way of encouraging more people to take up cycling for better health, contribute to a cleaner environment, and cope with the rising transportation costs in our country.”