Senator JV Ejercito, Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, expressed alarm over the rising number of deaths due to road mishaps as he batted for the prompt enactment of road safety measures that he has filed in the Senate.
Speaking before delegates of the “Road Safety in Asia 2017” forum held at Heritage Hotel, Ejercito cited data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which showed a consistent climb of the number of road accident deaths.
According to PSA, in 2006, the country registered 6,869 deaths due to road crash. But in 2014, the country registered 8,666 road crash-related deaths- or 1,797 more than the 2006 death toll.
The PSA records also showed that 56 percent of road traffic fatalities were due to motorcycle accidents, and since 2010, motorcycle riders have been the top victims of road crashes, followed by pedestrians at 19 percent, drivers of four-wheeled vehicles at 14 percent, and their passengers at 11 percent.
The Department of Health, on the other hand, has said that road accident is the fourth leading cause of death in the country, with at least one person killed every 17 hours, an average of 43 Filipinos killed every month; and 509 people killed every year.
Among the measures Ejercito has been pushing for to promote road safety are Senate Bill No. 1446 (SBN 1446), or the “Anti-Overloading Act of 2017,” SBN 1457, or the “Dash Cam Law,” and SBN 1447, or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicle Act of 2017.”
The legislator has also filed SBN 1375, which seeks to create the National Transportation Safety Board that shall engage in the investigation and determination of probable cause of transportation accidents involving all types of public utility vehicles or vessels.
“Also, although I am not one of the authors, I am actively campaigning for the proper implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law, or ADDA, that bans the use of hand-held gadgets such as cellphones, tablets, among others,” the lawmaker said.