LTFRB, LTO back pedestrian safety measure

Government land transportation agencies have aired strong support for the passage of a measure that would provide strict rules to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

In a recent technical working group meeting of the House Committee on Transportation, officials from the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board welcomed the House bid to pursue enactment of a bill that would consolidate legislative proposals protecting the safety and welfare of pedestrians.

Two bills authored by Reps. Jose Enrique Garcia III (NUP, Bataan) and Luis Lloren Cuaresma (NPC, Nueva Vizcaya) were taken up by the TWG which, in turn, will consolidate and finetune all bills with similar subjects.

Garcia proposed amendments to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code by inserting the right-of-way of pedestrians as a provision.

In House Bill 4670 filed by Garcia, drivers of vehicles are mandated to “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

Drivers are directed to reduce speed as they approach a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

The practice of some drivers of overtaking another vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross is also considered an offense.

On the other hand, pedestrians are enjoined to observe due care in using the road.

"No pedestrian shall also unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk,” the bill stated.

Cuaresma filed House Bill 3658 or the proposed Road Safety Education Act that will include in the curriculum of the K-to-12 education subjects on road use, etiquette, and safety.

Cuaresma said her proposal seeks to inculcate the value of human life and proper road use of road during the formative years of a person.

“This in turn is envisioned to contribute in improving our traffic situation and lessen road accidents,” she explained.

The administration lawmaker noted that data from the Metro Manila Development Authority indicated that in 2018, 434 Filipinos died while 19,374 were injured in the National Capital Region due to road crashes.

Many of the victims who either died or were wounded were pedestrians.