10 hurt in mishap on ‘killer highway’
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the renewed efforts of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to strictly enforce the 60-kph speed limit on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, 10 people were injured when two speeding passenger buses collided with each other Thursday morning.
A report from the Quezon City Police District’s Traffic Enforcement Group Sector 5 said that at around 4:30 a.m., the Fairview-bound buses were running on Litex Road when the Nova bus (TXJ 783) being driven by Joel Cunanan was hit in the rear by a Claro Trans bus.
Ten of the passengers in both vehicles suffered cuts and bruises as a result. Some of them were identified as Rolly Tugade, 34; Nestor Malincon, 52; Barbara Ann Nicdao, 24; Julius Buluvar, 38; Maria Teodosia Furaganon; and an 11-year-old boy.
Police Officer 3 Nicanor Joven said both buses seemed to be racing against each other when they figured in the collision.
He added that the driver of the Claro Trans bus, Joselito Montajes, was pinned behind the wheel and was reported to be in serious condition at a hospital.
Joven said both drivers would be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple physical injuries and damage to property.
The accident occurred nearly a week after the death of veteran journalist and University of the Philippines professor Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan.
Simbulan was killed when the taxi cab she was riding in was hit by a speeding passenger bus on Commonwealth Avenue on May 13.
This prompted the MMDA to double its efforts in enforcing the speed limit on the major thoroughfare which has been dubbed as the “killer highway.”
It has also prompted different government agencies to come up with proposals to improve working conditions for bus drivers to prevent further accidents.
Also on Thursday, the drivers of two vehicles bearing the “8” protocol license plates for congressmen were among those accosted by MMDA traffic enforcers for violating the speed limit.
Eugenio Tallar, the driver of a black Toyota Fortuner owned by Diwa party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay, was flagged down for speeding after the vehicle was found to be running at 68 kph.
A silver Suzuki mini-van bearing the “8” license plate was also stopped. The driver was identified as Vicente Santiago although the owner was named.
“Our speed guns know no exemptions when it comes to apprehension,” said MMDA unit operations head Ernesto Nicdao.
According to the MMDA, a total of 608 drivers have been apprehended for violating the 60-kph speed limit on Commonwealth Avenue since Monday. There were 138 violations recorded on Monday, 173 on Tuesday, 198 on Wednesday and 99 as of noon Thursday.
Meanwhile, traffic enforcer Edwin Lamban suffered injuries after he was sideswiped by a passenger jeepney (NXS 265) being driven by Frederick Salio.
MMDA enforcers earlier flagged down Salio for speeding but he refused to stop. Lamban then chased the driver on his service motorcycle but he was injured when Salio sideswiped him with his vehicle.
Salio will be charged with evading arrest and reckless imprudence resulting in physical injuries while his jeepney will be impounded.
“It is very apparent here that reckless drivers no longer respect the law and anybody can be victims of their irresponsibility and carelessness,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said when he learned about the incident.
He added, “We are consistently coming up with solutions to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila with road safety as our foremost consideration. However, no amount of enforcement and innovation will help if the drivers themselves will ignore and disobey traffic rules and disregard traffic enforcers.”
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