Is speed the real issue?

Motorists driving in urban areas may need to limit their speeds to just 30 km/h soon. This comes after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently proposed to set speed limits in highly urbanized areas.

In the recently concluded 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW), DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade joined hands with the global policymakers to push for the enactment of low-speed streets. Under the DOTr's campaign of 'StreetsForLife' and 'Love30', both the DOTr and UNGRSW want to set a 30 km/h speed limit in most urban areas and what they call 'low-speed streets'.

“As we have been driving programs, projects, and policies to alleviate the potential of public transport to become a transmission vector of the virus, it should not be forgotten that road safety is another pandemic – a silent one that has been killing thousands of Filipinos in a year,” said the DOTr in a press statement.

Just last year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said that there were a total of 65,032 accidents. Out of the total number of accidents, 337 were fatal, 14,465 were non-fatal and 50,230 incurred damage to properties. With that in mind, the MMDA wants to remind motorists to always be aware of their surroundings, follow road signs and speed limits, and always wear a seatbelt.

Can the DOTr's proposal to set a speed limit of 30 km/h in highly-populated or highly-urbanized areas help lessen accidents? Lower speeds do give drivers more control and more time to react to dangerous situations.

But before you write a strongly-worded comment about the whole matter, there is one thing you have to remember. The 30 km/h limit will not blanket the entire metropolis, so you don't need to worry about the whole stretch of EDSA becoming a low-speed zone. That said, we hope the DOTr comes up with a more detailed release about their latest proposal.