AUTO TECH AND ROAD SAFETY

Road Maintenance = Road Safety

Road Maintenance = Road Safety image

Text: Bam Santiago Olivares / Photos: Bam Santiago Olivares | posted August 01, 2007 10:36

A proper road promotes safe driving conditions

A well-maintained road is one that is properly painted, well-lighted, free of potholes, and clean and clear of debris and litter. Road signs and painted roads actually guide the motorist and serve as constant reminders in following road rules and regulations.

Painted lane dividers on the road actually serve as guides for the motorist to stay in lane. Without these, vehicles tend to be out of lane, more prone to side collisions, traffic jams and, simply put, chaos and confusion. EDSA is an example of a 5-lane highway without lane dividers. Although there are a few meters of painted lane dividers near intersections and some portions of the highway with faded painted lines, the rest of the highway has none. As a result, we see motorists driving along EDSA making their own lane, suddenly swerving to change lane when they approach an intersection with painted lane dividers. Some vehicles end up hogging a space big enough for two lanes, but since there are no lines to begin with, the drivers can?t be blamed entirely.

EDSA is also an example of a highway with potholes. Again we see vehicles swerving, this time to avoid these craters on the road. These potholes and even open manholes are definite hazards to road safety. Not only can it cause damage to a vehicle, it can be a cause of road accidents.

It is also important for roads, especially underpasses to be well-lit. Take Shaw underpass for example?they do have lights, but these are not bright enough, thus affecting road visibility.

Pylons serve as road barriers so these should be well painted (normally black and white stripes) and easily seen. It would be better to put reflector stripes around the sides of the barrier for sufficient night visibility. We have heard of accidents where vehicles have crashed into concrete barriers at night--the drivers claimed that they did not see it right away.

Road directional signs should be big enough and situated in an ideal location and properly lighted area. For example, a ?No Left Turn? sign placed way before the road in question will not be seen by motorists at the last minute. It?s the same with signs covered by trees or shrubs, or located in an unlit area at night.

Admittedly, we all try to be conscious about road safety, but although we make an effort, we cannot practice or implement it well if the roads are not safe to begin with. We cannot blame motorists who do not follow road rules if we do not set the guidelines and provide the right setting, signs and symbols to follow. Every year when we have our vehicles registered, we pay for a ?road user?s tax??so why not make the most of it? Let?s just hope that the proper authorities will see the need to improve our road maintenance and thus prioritize ROAD SAFETY.