In an effort to reach the youth and instill road discipline at an early age, effectively nipping the ‘problem’ in the bud, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) wants to traffic education to be part of school curriculum in the near future.

The move is not only for future motorists of the country, but also for every Filipino so that they may learn about ‘road safety principles’ in order to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities involving pedestrians.

“Alarming na rin. In fact, ang sabi ko nga magiging number 1 killer ang road accidents dito sa Pilipinas. At hindi ito Manila trend lang, hindi ito Philippine trend lang, but it’s a worldwide trend kaya nga marami nang mga organizations ngayon talagang nag aadvocate ng road safety,” said MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos.

[It is already alarming. In fact, I’ve been saying that road accidents may become the number 1 killer in the Philippines and this is not only a Manila or nationwide trend but worldwide. That is why many organizations now are advocating road safety.]

Previous government agencies, including organizations from the private sector have developed a module specifically for traffic education and presented it to the Department of Education two administrations ago. There were attempts to include it in the school curriculum but it was eventually abandoned.

Carlos said both private and government entities advocating road safety had also formulated a module and presented to the Department of Education two administrations ago.

“Kailangan siguro mag-insert na ng traffic education sa curriculum natin. Hindi para sa grade school kundi para sa high school. Kasi yun ang tamang age, ito ang panahon na gustong gusto nilang matutong mag-drive. Between the age of 14 to 16 (years old) yung mga level na yun dapat siguro tayo mayroon traffic education which should be mandatory. Hindi kung sino lang may gusto ng traffic education,” added Carlos.

[We should insert traffic education into the curriculum. Maybe not for grade school but definitely for high school. That is the proper age and this is the time they really get into driving. Traffic education should be mandatory already for school kids between the ages of 14-16. It shouldn’t be made optional only to those who want to take it up.]

But teaching kids at a young age about traffic education is only as good as how it is currently implemented and according to Carlos, there should be ‘rigid enforcement of traffic rules’ and ‘strict compliance.’

“Kailangan mas maging strict ang gobyerno. In fact, nasabi ko na minsan na i-review natin kung sino talagang karapat-dapat magkaroon ng lisensya at karapatan mag-drive sa ating mga lansangan kung ang mga lansangan natin ay nagiging killer na, dapat ito ay ating sugpuin,” said Carlos.

[The government should be very strict. In fact, I said before that we should thoroughly review the process of granting driver’s licenses and give only those who are worthy to drive on our roads. If our roads are becoming the cause of fatalities, we should do all we can to stop it.]