LTFRB: Drivers in crashes may be required to have mental health checkup
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) may soon require drivers who survive road crashes to undergo a mental health check to ensure they are still fit to drive a vehicle.
Following its hearing on Wednesday on the Christmas Day road crash in La Union that killed 20 people, including a six-month-old infant, the LTFRB said it saw a need for drivers who survive such collisions to undergo mental health evaluations.
In his testimony to the LTFRB, Partas bus driver Rodel Sadac told officials he was “saddened” by the deaths of the passengers of the jeepney that rammed the bus he was driving along the Manila North Road in Agoo, La Union.
When asked if he had received psychological treatment from experts, he told the LTFRB that only nurses attended to him.
Currently, whenever a bus company is preventively suspended after figuring in a road crash, it is required by the LTFRB to submit documents to prove that its fleet is still roadworthy.
According to LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada, it is high time that the mental health of drivers is also taken into consideration, especially after such traumatic accidents.
She noted that while undergoing medical intervention drivers should still receive compensation from their operators.
“He’s sad because he felt that he caused the lives of the 20 [people] when, in fact, he didn’t. So he needs to be seen by a medical expert,” Lizada said of Sadac.
The LTFRB determined that Sadac was not at fault in the fatal road crash. Based on the CCTV footage obtained by the LTFRB, the jeepney encroached on the lane the bus was traveling on before the crash.
The LTFRB is expected to come out with a decision on the lifting of the preventive suspension order imposed on Partas next month.
Meanwhile, the bus line vowed to help the families of victims of the crash with financial assistance of P300,000. /fl /atm
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