Government, Private Partner Sign Joint Memo to Intensify Speed Limit Enforcement

Government, Private Partner Sign Joint Memo to Intensify Speed Limit Enforcement

The government and a public interest law group moved to address road crashes as they signed a joint memorandum circular enforcing a nationwide speed limit yesterday, Thursday, July 25.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and ImagineLaw signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2018-001 in Quezon City.

Atty. Sophia San Luis, ImagineLaw executive director, said that despite laws addressing major road safety risks such as on the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, the number of road deaths have climbed steadily since 2006. Based on data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), the number of road crashes has been rising steadily from 12,875 in 2013 to 32,269 in 2016.

"This is why two years ago we approached the government with an idea. You see, we know from studies that speed is the most significant road crash risk factor as it increases the likelihood of a crash and the severity of the resulting injuries," San Luis said.

On January 2018, less than a year from their original meeting, JMC 2018-001 was released by the DOTR, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in cooperation with ImagineLaw.

"This joint memorandum circular not only provides guidelines on speed limit setting and enforcement, it mandates local government units to provide speed limit signs, it establishes coordination mechanisms between the national government and the local government unit, particularly with respect to national roads," San Luis said.

She added that the JMC "mandates the DOTr and LTO to build the capacity of LGUs for speed enforcement. It mandates the collection of data so we can evaluate in terms of speed enforcement and road safety in general and it even provides local government units with template speed limit ordinance that they can easily enact in their jurisdiction."

Since the release of the JMC, the government--in cooperation with ImagineLaw--has trained 300 LGUs on enacting speed limits, with a target of 1,600 more within the next three years.

"On our part, ang timeline namin (our timeline) in order to train all government units on how to enact speed limit ordinances, we're hoping that in the next two-three years, we have already trained all of the LGUs in the country. In just a year, we managed to train 300 out of the 1,600," San Luis said.

She said another recent progress on the enforcement of a national speed limit was the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) issuance of Regulation No. 19-001 which "establishes 60 kilometers per hour as the maximum speed limit of all motor vehicles, except buses and trucks, traversing the circumferential and radial roads in Metro Manila."

The Regulation also sets a fine of PHP1,000 on any driver who violates it "on each instance."

International experts were also brought by ImagineLaw to the Philippines to train LTO personnel in speed limit enforcement in the coming months.

"So ImagineLaw will be bringing in international policing experts to provide speed enforcement training to the LTO with support from the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund and the Global Road Safety Partnership," San Luis said.

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