The Department of Transportation (DOTr) highlighted the importance of road safety amid the pandemic during a commemorative event Friday held by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The virtual event, which was attended by more than 70 local government units (LGUs) in Region 1, was held in line with Global Road Safety Week and the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
In his message, Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade stressed the importance of the road safety campaigns of the DOTr.
The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 12,000 Filipinos lose their lives every year to road crashes.
For Region 1 (Ilocos Region) alone, almost 1,500 road crashes were recorded in 2020, according to the LTO. Some 3,700 individuals were also involved in road crashes. Of those involved in road crashes, 177 were killed.
Tugade highlighted the role of local leaders in advancing the safety and welfare of their constituents. He urged the local chief executives of Region 1 to push for road safety through strengthened cooperation with the DOTr and its attached agencies.
The Transportation Chief expressed DOTr’s support for the #Love30 campaign launched by WHO, which calls for motorists to drive at slower speeds, specifically 30 kilometers per hour, in crowded areas.
“Mayroong inilunsad na #Love30. Ito ay isang proyekto ng World Health Organization at United Nations na kung saan kinikilala nila na ang kikitil at tatagpas sa buhay ay ‘yung speed. Sana ho magtulungan tayo, hindi lang LTO o LTFRB, kasama natin ang pamahalaang lokal, kapit-bisig tayo. Because we alone cannot do it but together, with the LGU, we can make a difference,” Tugade said.
The #Love30 campaign aims to make 30 km/h the speed limit for cities, towns and villages worldwide, where people and traffic regularly mix.
According to WHO Director of the Department of Social Determinants of Health Dr. Etienne Krug: “Low speed streets are the heart of every community,”
In a separate statement issued in line with the Road Safety Week, WHO called on policymakers everywhere to lower speed limits in cities.
“I call on authorities to reduce urban speed limits to 30 km/h (20 mph) where pedestrians and cyclists mix with other traffic, as a step towards giving streets back to people and ensuring those streets are protective of health and the enviorment. Low-speed streets are for life,” Krug said.
“Do we still want to wait until our loved ones get into accidents, get injured, or die?” the DOTr Secretary said in Filipino while recounting a personal anecdote of his own child who died at the age of 12 years old.
“Ayaw ko na unworthy ang mga sasakyan. Ayaw ko ang driver na walang disiplina. Ayaw ko ang mga pedestrian na hindi sumusunod sa batas. Pag dumating si kamatayan at mahal natin sa buhay ang tamaan, malulungkot at maghihinagpis tayo. ‘Wag nating antayin ‘yun. Tama na ang mga aksidente. Tama na ‘yung patay. Tama na ang pag violate sa rules and regulations. Safety is important. Safety is non-negotiable,” Tugade added.
Aside from promoting road safety in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tugade emphasized the public’s need to adhere to health and safety protocols and understand the importance of vaccination.
“Let’s not forget health protocols in the time of the pandemic. Always use your facemask. Use your face shield. Maintain social distancing. Refrain from eating, drinking, or having conversations while taking public transportation,” Tugade added.