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On the worsening state of road safety in Metro Manila and adjoining areas

June 2016
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Recent days have seen some serious road crashes occurring along major roads to the east of Metro Manila. A friend posted about a crash along Marcos Highway last June 10 at the still incompletely paved Marcos Bridge. No one was killed in the crash though the driver and passengers sustained serious injuries. However, there was a high potential for this to have been a fatal crash.

13339657_10153591552387401_93275331210128791_nCrash involving a truck plowing into the steel fence and median of Marcos Highway near the Marcos Bridge along the eastbound direction of the highway. Both directions of the bridge’s carriageway’s asphalt overlay had been scraped off and remained neglected for several months until this morning when I observed workers laying out asphalt concrete along the eastbound lanes of the bridge.

An even more ugly crash occurred yesterday in Taytay, Rizal when a truck plowed into the tiangge are of Tatay’s public market killing scores of people and injuring more. Here is a link to some photos and videos about the Taytay crash. These two are but examples of what is happening along national and local roads all over the country with many not even being reported on mainstream or social media.

As I have mentioned in previous posts these crashes were all preventable. Truck operators and drivers need to regularly perform maintenance checks on their vehicles. Brakes are among the critical or essential parts that need to be checked especially with safety in mind. How many fatal road crashes have been reported involving brake failure? In the Marcos Bridge crash, there is also the need to make sure roads are well-maintained and projects not left out for months. In fact, poor road pavement conditions also contribute to traffic congestion as vehicles tend to slow down because of the roughness of the road (e.g., too many potholes). How can the next administration reinforce the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations as well as testing of private and public utility vehicles for these to be certified safe for driving along our roads? Will the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other allied agencies (e.g., LTO and LTFRB), local government units and private entities come up with a more aggressive effort to curb what seems to an increasing trend in road crashes? We hope so and look forward to positive change coming to our roads.


2 Comments

  1. It is true that the crashes are preventable if regular maintenance checks are done. However. from what I can see, it seems that the brunt of the blame is usually placed on the drivers and operators, rather than the owner of the fleet of vehicles. Correct me if I’m wrong pero parang walang culpability ang company eh. Laging si driver lang at pahinante lang ang may sala.

    And to put it into perspective, I’m sure the drivers and operators are aware of the condition of their vehicles. It is just that funds are not provided. So given this, what could these people do if the owners won’t allocate funds for maintenance? Magreklamo sila sa management? Pamumuhay lang naman nila ang nakasalalay eh. Do you think that this people would risk losing their jobs by complaining? To be blunt, disposable sila in the eyes of management. Mahirap masyado para sa kanila yun.

    [How about bringing the complaints to the concerned government offices?]

    I-report nila sa LTFRB/LTO/DOT? As an honest question, may mangyayari kaya? It’s just that I can’t help but think na may ‘magic’ sa pagitan ng gobyerno at mga kumpanya ng mga transpo na ito eh. Kaya kung may mangyari man, parang wala lang rin talaga. Bukod sa loopholes, parang pitik lang ang parusa so hindi ramdam kaya nagpapatuloy lang ang mga ganitong pangyayari.

    IMO, I think it would be best if the owners themselves are the ones placed under the heat. Masyado na sila complacent eh. But then again, I think this isn’t actually exclusive to transportation. =(

    • d0ctrine says:

      Operator here is equivalent to owner. LTFRB uses the terms owner and operator to refer to the owner of the vehicles. The owner/operator may be an individual (like in the case of many jeepneys and taxis) or company/corporation (like in the case of buses). Operator may also refer to a cooperative that owns jeepneys, UV express vehicles or buses. It is actually the job of LTFRB to monitor and inspect garages and terminals of public utility vehicle operators/companies. Sadly, they have performed poorly on this responsibility and so we have this unsafe conditions along our roads. Of course, LTO could have also caught poorly maintained vehicles with proper inspection during registration. But I guess you already know how emission tests and vehicle inspection goes around the country?

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