Bill filed to include driver’s course in senior high school

Published August 28, 2020, 8:41 AM

by Pinky Concha-Colmenares

Road Sense

A classroom driver’s course operated by Ford Philippines as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Driving a motor vehicle is a skill that should be properly taught to the young because mobility is an important part of our lives.

Most of us spend at least two hours a day on the road – adults going to work, children going to school, people moving products to the market.

Are all road users aware of road safety?  Are all drivers of motor vehicles properly educated on how to behave to keep the roads safe?

For a long time, advocates on road safety, one of them my friend, Ray Butch Gamboa of Sunshine TV and “Motoring Today,” the longest running motoring television show, have worked on spreading awareness on road safety.

Through Sunshine TV and as chairman and founder of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ), Butch has produced and conducted seminars on road safety to elementary and high school students and teachers in public schools.

I am sure he will be happy to know that a lawmaker has recently filed a bill to include a driver’s education program in the senior high school curriculum “to instill national road safety awareness among the youth and create a “harmonious” road culture and safe environment for all.”

The bill – House Bill No. 7092, or the proposed Driver’s Education Act of 2020  – was filed by Manila Teachers partylist Rep. Virgilio Lacson last week.

“While the root cause of road accidents and casualties is difficult to identify because of its diverse and multi-faceted nature, road accidents and injuries can be prevented through proper education and continuing training of our road users on road safety and traffic regulations,” he said.

Lacson, the chairperson of the House Committee on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development, explained that the “bill seeks to develop our students’ knowledge on traffic rules and regulations, and on the safe operation of motor vehicles pursuant to international road and traffic safety standards. Through the program, students will develop their operational skills as responsible motorists, hone their individual understanding and obedience to traffic rules and regulations, generate appreciation and recognition of consequences of road and vehicular-related accidents caused by irresponsible driving methods, and driving under influence of substances,” he added.

The bill proposes that the Continuing Driver’s Education Program shall be taught to senior high school students aged 17 and above in all public and private schools.

Professional driving instructors who are accredited by the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) with valid Professional Driver’s License issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), shall teach the subject.

The course shall cover the knowledge on the operation and maintenance of motor vehicles, comprehensive study on road traffic rules and regulations, introduction to road transportation laws, psychology of driving (correct eye usage, defensive driving), machine troubleshooting skills, and comparative analysis and course study on international traffic and road safety policies, regulations, and standards.

The whole course will cover 30 hours of classroom instruction.

A student who passes the course shall be given a certificate of completion. He or she will need to go through the process of applying for a driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office.