MOA to prevent traffic accidents in Calabarzon roads inked

January 16, 2011 12:47 am 

By Francis M. Bilowan

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, Jan. 15 — Officials of government agencies involved in traffic management and Star Infrastructure Development Corporation signed on Friday a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) adopting measures that ensure prevention or reduction of traffic accidents along major roads and national highways in Calabarzon.

The MOA also established an investigation office within the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star) Tollway and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to speed up the probe into all vehicular accidents in the Southern Tagalog region.

The agreement came about following a whole day multi-agency summit on traffic management and road safety held in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City, aimed at getting the act of the participants together to reduce death and vehicular accidents in Calabarzon comprising the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

Chief Supt. Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr., Philippine National Police (PNP)-Calabarzon director and lead convenor, said the summit was convened for the agencies to discuss and adopt measures that will ensure the reduction of traffic accidents and deaths of motorists along major roads and national highways in the region.

Participants in the summit were officials of the PNP Regional Highway Patrol Group (HPG-IVA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), representatives from SLEX, Star Tollway Management, and local government traffic management offices in Calabarzon.

Earlier, Pagdilao called for the convening of the traffic management and road safety summit after the fatal accident along the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road in Ibaan, Batangas that left seven people dead and four others injured.

At the summit, agency representatives unanimously approved the creation of an Inter-Agency Plan on Traffic Management and Road Safety, and signed a MOA allowing the PNP to establish an investigation office within SLEX and Star Tollway to speed up the probe into all vehicular accidents.

Under the MOA, the participants agreed that aggressive enforcement of road and traffic rules must be the first and immediate measures towards keeping the road safe for drivers and commuters alike.

The MOA also allows the PNP, LTO and LTFRB to operate and enforce road safety and other traffic rules and regulations within the two expressways in Southern Tagalog, especially against drunken and reckless drivers.

According to Pagdilao, records from HPG revealed that in 2010 alone, 544 of the 1,078 vehicular accidents recorded in Calabarzon occurred along the SLEX. The Star Tollway has recorded three accidents, including the one in Ibaan, Batangas on Jan. 2, 2011, he said.

The Calabarzon PNP director also said that HPG records showed that the highest number of vehicular accidents in 2010 occurred in the month of September with 127, followed by November with 115, and March with 107.

He said HPG records likewise showed that in 2010, at least 219 people were killed in vehicular accidents in the region.

He added that the most fatal months for motorists last year was in April when 27 people were killed, followed by March with 23, and December with 22.

Senior Supt. Antonio Gardiola Jr. of HPG Region IV-A said that the common cause of these accidents were gross disregard of traffic signs due to lack of education on the part of some drivers of public utility vehicles, and engineering defects of road networks.

Last week, Pagdilao directed the HPG Calabarzon and all chiefs of police to initiate a random stop, board, and on-the-spot check on drunken and reckless drivers to prevent a repeat of the fatal accident in Ibaan, Batangas. <P>Pagdilao also directed all PNP commanders in the region to strictly implement the rules against overspeeding along all roads in Southern Tagalog. (PNA) scs/FMB

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