LTO to Sanction Drivers Violating Traffic Rules When Crossing Rail Lines

Drivers who fail to stop at railroad crossings will be slapped with stiff sanctions by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

This follows the directive of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to the LTO on the strict implementation of Section 42 (d) of Republic Act No. 4136, also known as the 'Land Transportation and Traffic Code,' which stipulates that a driver shall bring his/her vehicle to a full stop before traversing any railroad crossing.

The DOTr immediately directed the LTO, in coordination with the Philippine National Railways (PNR), to establish an enforcement mechanism on vehicles traversing the operating lines of the PNR.

DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon said that devising an enforcement system will bring swift action to penalize errant drivers and ultimately avoid collision on rail lines.

"Through an enforcement system, violators cannot just get away with their misbehavior. We will be able to determine those who deliberately and habitually disobey our traffic rules on rail lines," de Leon warned.

The road transport undersecretary also cited the need to preserve government property.

"Aside from the safety of the public, we also need to protect our rail infrastructure given the high capital cost of these systems," de Leon added.

PNR earlier sought the assistance of the DOTr to enforce proper sanctions to drivers who deliberately beat approaching trains, causing collisions and bringing damage to government property and danger to the public.

The DOTr's call for action follows after a Nissan Urvan was hit by a train in Calamba, Laguna at around 4:50 AM on September 3. Based on the incident report, the van traversed the railroad crossing despite the approaching train, and following the collision, rammed into three houses and a parked tricycle. Injured were the van's driver, Jourdan Charlie Lunaria Sancon, and his passenger, Miguel Aguilar Guanteros, as well as residents Albert Bunagwa delos Santos, Mark Lester Ricafranca Pasia, Jennielyn Leonen Valmoria, Nilda Leonen Valmoria, Lea Chavez Manood, Lorena Tiamzon Leonen, and Jan Airrel Manood Valmoria.

LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante assures that the formulation of the enforcement mechanism will help prevent further loss of life on rail tracks.

"We will work closely with the DOTr and PNR on the establishment of preventive measures to ensure the safety of the public, and inculcate discipline among drivers," Galvante said.