Palace seeks hiked cooperation on road safety

August 23, 2010 11:20 am 

MANILA, Aug. 23 — Malacanang is seeking from the transport sector more cooperation on promoting road safety nationwide.

Communications group Secretary Herminio Coloma said such cooperation is needed to help minimize loss of lives from transport accidents.

"There must be road safety consciousness as people's lives depend on it," he said amidst mounting public concern over successive vehicle accidents in the country.

In Bicol last week, the head-on collision between a passenger bus and another vehicle killed 2009 Bb. Pilipinas International Melody Gersbach and her companions who were on board the latter.

A provincial bus also plunged into a ravine in Benguet province earlier this month, killing over 30 passengers.

Both accidents are being linked to the ill-fated buses' mechanical failure.

Coloma said transport operators must maintain their vehicles regularly to ensure these are road-worthy.

He noted such operators have this basic responsibility since they serve the public.

Transport operators must also hire only people who are truly competent in driving, he continued.

"Many accidents are due to human error," he noted.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board officer-in-charge Dante Lantin said Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus already ordered a review of transport franchises and licenses that government issued.

Government also wants transport operators to implement respective preventive maintenance program including daily inspection of vehicles, Lantin noted.

To further help boost road safety nationwide, he said the Land Transportation Office is considering to undertake on regular basis random drug testing among drivers on the road.

This will help check whether or not the drivers are high on illegal drugs while driving.

Malacanang likewise believes that the Department of Public Works and Highways must put in structures that will help enhance road safety.

These structures can include barriers along curved sections of roads bordering ravines, Coloma noted. (PNA)

LDV/CJT/mec

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