Irresponsibility on the road

THERE WAS a predawn motorcycle accident on Sept. 13, 2019 in Barangay Cuartero, Jaro, Iloilo City. The motorist fell from his motorcycle, hit his head on the concrete highway and died. He was not wearing a helmet. And he was drunk. Reckless, indeed.

Generally speaking, motorcycle riders’ reckless disregard for safety does not just endanger them but other motorists and non-motorists as well. This irresponsibility on the road has to stop.

In its Global Status Report on Road Safety as early as four years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) said 53 percent of reported road traffic fatalities in the Philippines are riders of motorized two- or three-wheeler vehicles. Pedestrians make up the second biggest chunk of road user deaths at 19 percent, followed by drivers of four-wheeled vehicles at 14 percent and their passengers at 11 percent.

Data from the of Department of Health (DOH), on the other hand, showed that 65 percent or 19,852 out of 30,412 recorded injuries and fatalities due to road accidents in 2015 involved people riding on motorcycles.

DOH also noted a drastic increase on motorcycle riders being involved in road crash injuries since 2010, from 6,244 injuries to 19,852 injuries in 2015. These figures are upsetting. The number of road mishaps is increasing due mainly to reckless motorcycle riders. Even more infuriating are the noisy and ear-shattering mufflers of these motorcyclists.

Yes, we do recognize the big contribution of motorcycles in easing the traffic problem. But motorcycle riders have constantly been the top victim of road crash injuries and deaths since 2010. With the grim statistics from WHO and DOH, there is a need for the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group to launch a campaign against reckless motorcycle riders. It could start by assigning policemen along highways, which are being used as regular routes for motorcycle riders especially during weekends.

Reckless motorcyclists turn public roads into racetracks and in the process endanger not just themselves but other road users as well, including pedestrians. If they think they are really good and skillful motorcyclists, they should go to legitimate racetracks. This is the right place to show-off and not on busy highways.

We are deeply concerned.

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