Task force seeks to curb road mishaps

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ILOILO – An inter-agency road safety task force seeks to curb road accidents in this province.
Data culled from various agencies showed the number of road accidents in Iloilo to have reached 2,095 since January this year. These figures were cited in the memorandum of agreement creating the task force.
“Hopefully, with the cooperation of various agencies, we will see positive results,” said Regional Director Dennis Singzon of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The task force is made up of LTO, the provincial government of Iloilo, Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Factors that triggered the accidents, according to the road safety task force, were human error, poor road conditions, unlighted roads, lack of road signs or warnings, mechanical error, and inclement weather.
The memorandum of agreement creating the task force delineated each concerned agency’s role in enforcing road safety measures. These were:
* Iloilo provincial government – promulgate ordinances on traffic management and regulations; maintain provincial roads and in coordination with other government agencies, create a task force to apprehend violators of the provincial ordinance on road safety; allocate funds for road repair and establish safety measures in provincial roads; create a Provincial Road Safety Council to enforce traffic laws and which shall make periodic reports to the provincial governor; create an ordinance on a Traffic Code and Council; and support financially the operations of the road safety task force
* LTO – strictly enforce all traffic laws and regulations in coordination with local governments and other agencies; deputize the police in the enforcement of traffic laws, rules and regulations; train police personnel in the proper implementation of traffic laws, rules and regulations
* police’s Highway Patrol Group – enforce the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines, local ordinances and other related laws as mandated; investigate major traffic accidents and come up with recommendations to local governments thru the road safety task force; and apprehend traffic law violators within the province and endorse these to the concerned agency for adjudication as provided
* LTFRB – establish a Drivers’ Academy to educate public utility drivers; inspect the road worthiness of public utility vehicles in coordination with LTO before the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience; enforce the installation of Global Positioning System for public utility buses; and establish and enforce post-accident measures
* DPWH – put up road signs; conduct yearly inspection and inventory of road signs; strictly oblige contractors to follow the calendar of completion of road projects; and provide bike lanes and install loading/unloading bays
* IPPO – in coordination with local governments and other government agencies must enforce all traffic, public safety and road safety laws and ordinances; respond to traffic accidents and conduct investigations.
The memorandum of agreement was an offshoot of the Road Safety Summit that the provincial government initiated in August.
The agreement signatories were Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. (for the Iloilo provincial government), Senior Superintendent Harold Tuzon (IPPO), Singzon (LTO), OIC Regional Director Ma. Joscet Buyco-Abellar (LTFRB), and Assistant Regional Director Al Fruto (DPWH, on behalf of Director Wencesao Leaño)./PN



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