LTO plays crucial role in keeping our roads safe, says Sec. Bautista

Years of rampant red tape and corruption are some of the reasons why many drivers hold licenses from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) without undergoing seminars (from the LTO) or getting proper driver training. All of them are behind the wheel of a vehicle or on motorcycles even if they are “not well-versed” with proper road etiquette and courtesy.

And in extreme cases, these “drivers” do not even know the basic road signs and traffic rules.

This lack of road courtesy among drivers, coupled with the lack of discipline, has certainly made our roads unsafe.

In a recent conference of LTO’s regional directors, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the agency plays a crucial role in making sure that Philippine roads are safe for motorists and pedestrians alike and must act with urgency by advocating road safety to eliminate road fatalities and injuries.

DOTr to LTO: Prioritize defensive driving education image

“You must remember that your agency is not merely charged with the issuance of driver’s licenses, motor vehicle registration, and vehicle plates. The higher dimension of your mandate is keeping our roads safe,” Bautista told the LTO Regional Directors.

Bautista also urged the LTO to “prioritize defensive driving education.”

Defensive driving, by definition, is the practice of drivers who consciously reduce the dangers associated with driving. Also, besides being disciplined on the road, a defensive driver must be aware of potential hazards and other road users’ actions, enabling one to take proactive action to avoid an incident.

“Try to understand the urgency of road safety promotion. One fatality due to a road crash is, for me, too many,” added Bautista.

Data from the United Nations (UN) show that 11,000 deaths are recorded annually in the Philippines because of road crashes due to drunk driving, overspeeding, texting while driving, and human error. It is also worth noting that the roadworthiness of a vehicle plays a crucial role in road safety.