Sen. Miriam Santiago wants more tests for wannabe drivers
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill mandating psycho-technical driver assessment tests for motorists applying for a license to drive motor vehicles.
In filing Senate Bill 3007, Santiago noted that the problem on the road was “not traffic snarls alone but lack of discipline, civility and mutual respect.”
“Motoring mayhem has killed in the past and will continue to snuff out lives in the future. The carnage must stop. In view of the foregoing, immediate passage of the bill is hereby sought,” the senator said in the explanatory note of the bill.
Under the bill, no person should be issued a professional driver’s license who is suffering from contagious disease such as tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and epilepsy or who is an alcohol or drug addict or dependent, and “who has not passed the psycho- technical driver assessment tests administered by official psychologists and/or psychometricians of the Land Transport Office.
Santiago said her bill aimed to provide a compulsory psycho-technical driver test, which involves assessment of both a driver’s cognitive and motor skills as well as psychiatric fitness to drive.
Similar psycho-technical assessment systems, she said, are used mainly in countries with many traffic accidents such as Italy and Spain.
“Primarily, the psycho-technical assessment test would ensure the improvement of traffic safety. Indeed, professional drivers, and those drivers dealing with dangerous vehicles must be assessed to guarantee the public that they possess the necessary knowledge demanded by the job,” she said.
“In addition, the test will help assess the driving ability of some patients with early forms of Alzheimer’s disease, with trauma, with visual (impairment), stroke patients, and even elderly drivers.”
According to some reports on the prevention of road-traffic injuries, the senator said, more than 4,000 people die each year at a cost of at least $894 million, or 1.2% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product.
“In addition, it is acknowledged that road accidents are growing to be the leading cause of mortality among Filipinos,” said Santiago.
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