Country's first traffic safety model zone launchedAmid the increasing number of road incidents around the country, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), in cooperation with Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) and the UP-National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS), in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), held a multi-sectoral "Road Safety Partnership" conference on November 20, 2008 at the Heritage Hotel Manila.
The conference featured presentations from road safety experts and leaders. Apart from sharing best practices in road safety programs, the conference also aims to increase awareness of the National Road Safety Action Plan and to secure support and cooperation for the Global Road Safety Partnerships (GRSP) Philippines Project.
The line-up of speakers was headed by guest-of-honor DOTC secretary Leandro Mendoza, with DOTC undersecretary for Road Transport Anneli Lontoc, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Thompson Lantion, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Alberto Suansing, and LTO Traffic Safety Division head Daisy Jacobo.
Also in the conference were representatives from the GRSP, a Geneva-based programme of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) that brings together government, the private sector and civil society organizations to address road safety issues in low- and middle-income countries; and the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), an international organization dedicated to saving lives in developing countries by promoting safer road design.
The "Road Safety Partnership" conference is the latest in a series of road traffic safety conferences organized by the collaboration among AAP, Toyota, and the UP-NCTS to achieve road and traffic safety. The conferences, with the participation of relevant government agencies and NGOs, discuss safety concerns aimed at formulating action plans to achieve the desired road environment for the public, the children, and the future generations of road users.
This series of conferences have led to the launch of the country's first traffic safety model zone. Through Toyota's partnership with AAP and working closely with the UP-NCTS, the UP Traffic Model Zone was launched at the sprawling University of the Philippines grounds in Diliman, Quezon City earlier this year. The project, with an initial budget of P5 million, aims to make the UP-Diliman campus a model of an ideal road traffic management zone that can be emulated in any part of the country.
Part of this road traffic safety project is the Toyota Training Room at the NCTS Building in UP-Diliman. The Toyota Training Room, a fully-equipped training facility for nationwide road safety-related programs, is now the venue of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Bus Drivers Seminars organized by the LTFRB where drivers undergo courses on road traffic safety, values formation, public and customer relations, incidents and emergency procedures, fatigue and stress management, and franchising and road laws, among others.
Another conference breakthrough resulting from the collaboration is the "24/7 AAP Road Safety Call Center" that allows motorists and road users to report road and traffic hazards.