TAKE all necessary security precautions that will keep you, your family and your houses safe this week and the rest of the year. And most importantly, please don’t forget to check your ‘BLOWBAGETS’ or Brakes, Lights, Oil, Water, Battery, Air, Gas, Engine, Tires and Self or the drivers when going on long road trip.
Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group director, Brigadier General Dionardo B. Carlos, reiterated the friendly reminders to the public anew as Filipinos leave the confines of their homes and go on a long road trip to visit their departed ones in the provinces.
The PNP-HPG said that fatal road mishaps mostly blamed to reckless driving, drunk driving and mechanical defects usually take place during ‘Undas’ when all roads lead to the provinces, beaches and other tourist destinations.
PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has asked the PNP-HPG and all other 17 Police Regional Offices to increase their public security measures and at the same time reiterate their public advisories to ensure road safety.
He said that all necessary precautions must be observed in the wake of never-ending traffic accidents mostly blamed on driver’s error and mechanical trouble.
Calls are also mounting for the strict implementation of the so-called ‘Four Es’ or Elements of Traffic Management..
So far, there is still no effective Land Transportation Office’s enforcement of Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act which was passed allowing a deputized law enforcer to apprehend a motorist on suspicion of DUI, indications of which include swerving, over-speeding, lane straddling, weaving, sudden stops, poor coordination or the evident smell of alcohol on a person’s breath.
Under RA 10586, if the violation did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three months’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from P20,000 to P80,000 shall be imposed. If the violation resulted in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code or the penalty in the next succeeding subparagraph, whichever is higher, and a fine ranging from P100,000 to P200,000 shall be imposed.
If the violation resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code (reclusion temporal or as much as 20 years in prison) and a fine ranging from P300, 000 to P500, 000 shall be imposed.
PNP-HPG records show that the Top 10 causes of road accidents are driver’s error, driving under the influence of liquor/drugs, vehicle mechanical defect, over-speeding, using cell phone while driving, road repair, hit-and-run, illegal overtaking, illegal turning and overloading.
The PNP-HPG previously recommended measures to reduce road-related accidents and save people’s lives, lessen casualties and injuries and protect people’s properties.
Among the measures include the installation of multiple Roadside Guard Railings (Steel Buffers) at the sharp curve; installation of 24-hour street lights/lamps to illuminate the road specially during foggy weather condition; installation of concave mirrors in sharp curb areas/blind spot corners; installation of additional warning signage’s to include downhill speed limits signs and road markings (rumble strips) particularly in accident-prone areas; removal of protruding tree branches or unnecessary materials/items that cover traffic directional and warning signs; allocation of lay bay area’s/shoulders and speed stopping lane for emergency stopover in selected hazard-free areas of the road; regular inspection of landslide-prone areas and road cuts along the highways; installation of emergency telephone booths; regular inspection and inventory of traffic signs and devices.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard M. Banac also advised motorists who are out on a long drive to the provinces, if possible, to travel in a convoy with other family members or friends; ensure proper operating condition and roadworthiness of their vehicle; and have contingency or back-up plans.
Mamang Pulis readers are advised to follow the following tips when traveling:
• Before the trip, make sure the vehicle is roadworthy, and follow the “BLOWBAG” rule which is B for Battery; L for Light; O for Oil; W for Water; B for Brakes; A for Air; and G for Gas.
• Bring all pertinent documents for the vehicle, including the Insurance Certificate.
• Make sure the doors are locked and the windows closed especially if children are joining the trip.
• Ensure control of the vehicle at all times. Avoid one-handed driving or using a mobile phone; avoid driving while drunk or sleepy.
• When driving at night, always use headlights and signal lights. Don’t drive when you have poor eyesight.
• If you do not live too far from a cemetery, don’t bring your car so as not to add to traffic volume.