AMID findings that nearly 34 Filipinos are being killed daily in road accidents across the country, the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group is going high-tech to help reduce those deadly vehicular crashes at a minimum level.
One of the initiatives of the PNP-HPG headed by Chief Superintendent Roberto B. Fajardo, a system called ‘Data on Road Incident Visualization Reporting System or ‘DRIVERS’ earned it the 2018 Road Safety Award for Southeast Asia during the recent 2nd Conference of Asean Road Safety in Subang, Malaysia, the Journal Group learned.
The system was established to arrest and help investigate and find solutions to tragic road accidents in the country which is said to be the main cause of death among Filipino youths aged 15 to 19
As figured out by the PNP-HPG, the Top 10 causes of vehicular accidents in the Philippines are the following (not necessarily in order): driving while texting, drunk driving, over-speeding, mechanical trouble, overtaking, jaywalking, turning without signaling, bad overtaking and bad turning.
Bad overtaking and bad turning have been identified as the top causes of road accidents including fatal ones since 2011 although there has been a spike in drunk driving and use of mobile phone as reasons behind road crashes in 2017.
Thru its DRIVERS, the PNP-HPG has been able to monitor the number of accidents which take place during daytime with private vehicles topping the list followed by motorcycles.
The PNP-HPG’s innovative approach was cited by ASEAN experts for being able to ensure evidence-based intervention to reduce road crash deaths and injuries.
The unit is a key cog in the government’s effort to raise road safety. In coordination with other government agencies including the Land Transportation Office, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Metro Manila Development Authority, the PNP-HPG has embarked on a massive program to raise awareness and implement reforms that will educate motorists and pedestrians on the importance of road safety.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.25 million people are said to perish and over 50 million injured in road accidents annually, previous reports said. Thus, if governments including that of the Philippines won’t try to address the issue, deadly traffic accidents are projected to increase by as much as 80 percent in low and middle-income countries due to the increasing number of motor vehicles by 2022.
The PNP-HPG is moving to help reduce road traffic crashes which have been sharply increasing every year: from nearly 15,600 in 2015 to around 24,600 in 2016 and over 26,000 in 2017.
Fajardo said they are pushing for effective road safety interventions to prevent more road accidents and help save lives of commuters and pedestrians, the innocent ones and children included.
Just like the Department of Transportation, the PNP-HPG is also calling for legislations that will require the installation of speed limit devices in all public utility vehicles as well as dash cams and CCTVs to help protect both the riding public and pedestrians.
The DOTr is the main government agency which conceptualized the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan 2017-2022 with the end in view of reducing road crashes by 2022.
This year, the PNP-HPG’s DRIVERS was cited for being an effective means in reducing deadly road accidents mainly attributed to driver’s error, poor road condition, mechanical trouble, reckless driving and driving while under the influence.
The award was given to Fajardo by Minister Anthony Loke, the Malaysian Minister of Transport..
The award fully recognized the Philippine government’s effort thru the Department of the Interior and Local Government and PNP’s Commitment to the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP) 2017-2022.
The PNP-HPG recommended measures to reduce road-related accidents and save people’s lives, lessen casualties and injuries and protect people’s properties.