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Precision driver wants speed limit for PH buses

/ 11:11 AM May 07, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Even for a stunt driver like him, Russ Swift says there is no room in the roads for “killer” buses.

The Guinness World Record breaker and famous precision driver made the statement as he expressed his support for the installation of speed limiters in buses, designed to stop the vehicle from exceeding its allowable speed limit.

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Russ Swift made such an impressive stunt performance during the 2014 Manila International Auto Show held at the Manila World Trade Center that it seemed surprising he would advocate lesser speed.

But anything to save lives, Swift would do it, he said.

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“(I heard) the problem here with speeding buses and how many people gets killed. It’s hard to bear, really,” the precision driver told INQUIRER.net in an interview after his performance.

Senator JV Ejercito has filed a bill requiring provincial and passenger buses to be installed with speed limiters. Motoring journalist James Deakin, who hosted Swift’s stunt show, has started a petition to lobby the swift passage of the bill.

“It’s been done in the United Kingdom since 1987 and it’s also been mandatory in many countries like Singapore. It’s nothing new,” Deakin said.

“It’s just one of these things [that have] been happening. And there’s already an established technology. So why can’t we put it in our buses?” he added.

After Swift’s show, the precision driver announced his support for Deakin’s petition.

“Anything I can do to support the campaign, I will do it. I wish everyone would sign it. Driving a bus is a massive responsibility,” Swift said.

“So many get killed by speeding buses, it’s unacceptable, something has to be done,” he added.

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Among the recent deadliest crashes due to speeding buses include the Don Mariano Transit bus that fell off the Skyway in Parañaque city and crashed onto a van below last December 2013, killing 20 of the bus’ passengers, including the driver. The bus was said to be speeding even though the road was wet with rain.

The latest case was the bus crash in Mountain Province involving a Florida bus just in February, when the bus lost control of its brakes and fell off a ravine, killing 14 of its passengers, including famous comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez.

Also a noted example is the accident involving a Guiding Star bus back in May 2011, when the speeding bus rammed into a taxi in front of UP Ayala Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. The passenger of the taxi who was killed was Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan, a former Philippine Daily Inquirer editor and one of the founders of the independent group Vera Files.

For Deakin and Swift, all these crashes can be prevented in the future with the proposed measure.

But isn’t it ironic that Russ Swift – known for his daredevil parking maneuvers and precision driving – supports such a measure?

“I would think that anybody would like to emulate what I do in a public place. But I learned my skills in driving areas where no one can get hurt,” Swift said.

“It’s just far safer than it’s out on the public roads in the Philippines, because I’ve seen how fast these buses go,” he added.

In the end, what’s more important are the lives that would be saved through this measure, Swift said.

“Lives are very, very precious, and everything we can do to save lives is good,” he added.

RELATED STORIES

18 killed after bus falls from Skyway – police

Comedian Tado Jimenez among 14 dead in bus accident in Bontoc

Veteran journalist-professor dies in vehicular accident on ‘killer highway’

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TAGS: Bus crashes, James Deakin, JV Ejercito, Manila International Autoshow, Motoring, Precision Driving, Russ Swift, Speed Limiter
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