Poe pushes for use of int’l standard traffic, public safety signs
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday filed in the Senate a bill requiring government agencies to promote the use of traffic and other public safety signs that follow international standards.
Senate Bill No. 2293 aims to prevent road accidents and other hazards and to push agencies to “provide citizens with timely and correct information on traffic instructions.”
“Articles and images of faulty or questionable signages have been reported throughout the years and such still remain as evident threats to both motorists and pedestrians,” the senator said in a statement.
Citing data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Poe said that on average, one person dies from a road accident in the National Capital Region.
In 2019 alone, 121,771 road crashes were recorded, 372 of which were fatal. Meanwhile, in 2020, where mobility restrictions were imposed due to the pandemic, the MMDA still recorded 65,032 road crashes that left 337 dead, Poe said.
This shows how putting up visible road signs at ideal distances is “clearly a must to protect and save many lives,” the senator said.
Under the proposed law, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will take charge of the public safety signs on national roads, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be responsible for Metro Manila roads, while local government units (LGUs) will be in charge of local roads.
The bill also tasks the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) to coordinate with DPWH and MMDA in order to update the geohazard map that may identify areas that are prone to floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters.
In cases of deaths and injury due to the absence of proper safety signs in potentially risky areas, the bill also proposed to penalize the responsible government officials with suspensions ranging from one month and a day to dismissal from service for the highest offense.
The Philippines ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals in 1973 to harmonize the country’s traffic signs and symbols with international standards and promote road safety. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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