New Philippine speed limits aim to reduce road accidents

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DOTr, WHO, safety advocates work together for setting speed limits

To further promote road safety, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), launched Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) ‎2018-001 on the classification of roads for setting speed limits.

JMC ‎2018-001 will be providing guidelines on setting speed limits and create coordination mechanisms for the setting of speed limits on national roads. It will help the national government coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to work together in enforcing speed limits by classifying the roads and in order to create a set speed limit. It also clarifies the juridsitciton of LGUs over national roads, allowing them to lower speed limits when needed, subject to DOTr and DPWH approval.

It was initially created to strengthen the implementation of Republic Act 4136; specifically Sections 35 which states that motorists driving on a highway shall do so at a “careful and prudent speed” so as not to “endanger the life, limb, and property of any person.” Furthermore, it states that no person shall drive at a speed greater than what is allowed, reasonable, and will permit him to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead. 

Apart from officials from DILG and DPWH, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade will be joined by representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and the League of Cities of the Philippines during the launch. Road safety and public policy advocacy groups such as ImagineLaw and Dakila will also be present.

A WHO study says that speed is the most significant contributor to road crash fatalities. It was found to increases both the risk of a crash happening, and the severity of injuries. According to the WHO, a 1km/h increase in one’s speed increases the risk of injury by at least 3% and the risk of a fatality by 4-5%. Furthermore, studies have shown that speed is the primary cause in 30% of fatal road crashes.

The DOTr has also partnered with the World Bank to develop a system for road crash data collection called Data for Road Incident Visualization Evaluation and Reporting (DRIVER) system. It is a web application that is designed to view, collect, and analyze road incident data in the Philippines, particularly traffic incidents, disruptions, and crimes.

The application provides data viewing and entry tools such as graph and map interfaces, custom report and filter tools, multiple concurrent user editing, and data exports. Apart from gathering data, it will also allow for better allocation of resources as it comes with data visualization tools.

You may access the site by going to https://www.roadsafety.gov.ph/

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