LUCENA CITY—Police advised holiday travelers passing Quezon province to drive safely and not be distracted by the beautiful scenes along the road.
Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, Quezon police chief, advised motorists along Maharlika Highway to strictly observe the rules of safe driving.
“Do not be lulled by the beautiful scenes. It could be fatal. If the motorists cannot resist looking at the roadside landscape, stopping at the side of the road is the wise move,” De Leon said.
De Leon said he had also ordered all municipal police stations along the major highways in the province to be ready to assist stranded motorists.
He said all major public transportation terminals in Lucena City and different towns were being secured by teams of policemen to ensure the safety of commuters and their belongings.
The 150-kilometer Maharlika Highway in Quezon runs from the Quezon-Laguna boundary in Tiaong town down to Calauag town in the Quezon-Bicol boundary.
The highway is now well paved and conducive to leisurely driving. But oftentimes, the man behind the wheel chooses to drive like a race track driver.
Road accidents along Maharlika Highway, mostly involving passenger buses and motorcycles, occur with alarming regularity. “Motorists should only have to follow road signs and directions for their own safety,” said Celestial Flancia, head of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Quezon (DPWH-Quezon) second engineering district in central Quezon.
In September, President Aquino inaugurated the new 7.5-km bypass road in Candelaria town. The new highway traverses vast golden rice-fields and has a panoramic view of Mount Banahaw and nearby Mount Cristobal.
Jose Almero of DPWH-Quezon fourth engineering district said workers are rushing the repair of Quirino Highway, the major road going to Bicol region, in anticipation of the big volume of motorists during the Yuletide rush.
The Quirino Highway has been divided into two sections—the 29-km stretch in the Quezon side and the
64-km portion in Camarines Sur, known as Andaya Highway.
Almero said there were also ongoing road constructions at the diversion road of the old zigzag road in Atimonan town.
“But the zigzag road is well maintained as an alternative road for motorists,” Almero said.