TURNING POINT: Preventing Highway Deaths

SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (MindaNews /04 Nov). “The speed that thrills is the speed that kills.”

The national highways in Mindanao are almost all now wider at four lanes. Ironically, the wider they have become the greater the number of vehicular accidents occurring. Speeding is tempting in a wide empty-looking highway.

Thus motor vehicles are now moving much faster than before; many motorists, however, do not seem to know how to navigate a four-lane highway. For instance, many continue to make a pass at the left side, the traditional way to do in in a two-lane road. And still many do not know, too, what lane to take when they are driving fast or when they have to drive slow or they keep on changing lanes which is distractive to motorists behind them. Hence, disasters often await ahead.

To avoid the unnecessary lose of lives and properties in preventable highway crashes, the following agencies of the government need to work together.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO)

a. To make it mandatory for all drivers to undergo a seminar on the use of the highway and on road manners before their driving license can be renewed.

b. To install speed limit signs in designated locations in coordination with the DPWH and the PNP Highway Patrol.

c. To organize highway disaster response teams in coordination with the provincial government and other local government units along the highway.

c. To establish a 911-like communication system for highway emergencies.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)

a. To install barriers imperative to dividing the highway into two separate lanes;

b. To complete the construction of unfinished lanes due to uncut trees, weak depressed grounds, and unremoved electric posts.

c.To finish abandoned road shouldering works.

c. Establish designated areas for emergency stops.

The Local Government Units (LGUs)

a. To designate passenger crossing lanes in the highway, install traffic lights, and construct overpasses in areas where pedestrian traffic is heavy in coordination with the DPWH.

b. To pass legislations on stray animals, strictly enjoining residents to strongly keep and secure their farm animals and pets.

Let things be done. The life you save may be your own.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)