National, Local Government to Classify Roads for Setting of Speed Limits
The Department of Transportation (DOT), together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), has launched Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2018-001 which will provide guidelines “on speed limit setting and…create coordination mechanisms for the setting of speed limits on national roads.”
Effectively, JMC 2018-001 strengthens and implements sections 35 and 38 of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code which mandates local government units (LGUs) to classify their roads for the setting of speed limits and clarifies their jurisdiction over national roads. Through the measure, LGUs will be able to lower speed limits when needed, subject to the approval of the DPWH and DOTr.
According to ImagineLaw, a non-stock, non-profit public interest law organization which advocates road safety and which helped craft JMC 2018-001, in its study of 100 LGUs, only 56 had issued speed limit ordinances as the others had left the practice to the national government. One LGU that has reportedly issued such an ordinance is Tupi in South Cotobato which, following a spate of road accidents in its jurisdiction, not only imposed speed limits on its roads but also acquired speed guns to apprehend the violators.
Under JMC 2018-001, the speed limit on national roads for passenger cars and motorcycles should 80 kph on opens roads, 40 kph on through streets, and 20 kph on crowded streets while for trucks and buses, it should be 50 kph, 30 kph, and 20 kph, respectively.
For provincial roads, the speed limit for passengers cars and motorcycles should be 40 kph on opens roads and through streets, and 20 kph on crowded streets while for trucks and buses, it should be 30 kph and 20 kph, respectively.
For city and municipal streets, the speed limit for passenger cars and motorcycles should be 30 kph on city and municipal streets and 20 kph on barangay roads and crowded streets while for trucks and buses, it should be 30 kph and 20 kph, respectively.
To add, JMC 2018-001 clarifies crowded streets as those with heavy pedestrian foot traffic, “including all streets within a 500-meter radius of schools, public transportation terminals, markets, government building… places of worship, recreation places… and other public places as may be determined by the City or Municipal government.”
ImagineLaw clarified that the 20 kph speed limit is the survivable speed for a pedestrian that’s struck by a vehicle. And although JMC 2018-001 doesn’t specifically state that LGUs should acquire speed guns and install speed cameras in their jurisdiction, ImagineLaw believes the use of both is necessary for speed enforcement activities beyond that of installing speed limit signs.
For the enforcement of the speed limits, the Land Transportation Office will develop a training module that will be disseminated though its regional offices which will conduct deputation training for LGUs.