The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed the figure at the launch of Save Lives #SlowDown road safety campaign during the Global Road Safety Week last week. The event, spearheaded by Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP), was hosted by SM Prime Holdings Inc. at the Mall of Asia. File

34 Pinoys die daily in road mishaps
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  An average of 34 Filipinos are killed daily in road accidents, the latest government data showed.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed the figure at the launch of Save Lives #SlowDown road safety campaign during the Global Road Safety Week last week. The event, spearheaded by Safe Kids Worldwide Philippines (SKWP), was hosted by SM Prime Holdings Inc. at the Mall of Asia.

The PSA study also showed that road accidents are the main cause of deaths among Filipino youths aged 15 to 19.

During the project launch, road safety advocates from both the government and private sectors pledged to raise awareness and implement reforms that will educate the public on the importance of road safety to help address the growing number of deaths by road accidents.

SKWP president Jocelyn Yambao-Franco noted that the increase in deaths on the road is actually a global trend.

She bared that an estimated 1.25 million people are killed and over 50 million are injured in road crashes annually. By 2020, road traffic crashes are also expected to increase by 80 percent in low- and middle-income countries due to increasing motorization.

SKWP executive director Jesus dela Fuente lamented that most of the fatal road accidents in the country are caused by speeding.

“A great portion of our road traffic crashes, especially those that are fatal, are caused by speeding, and it has already been proven that a five-percent cut in average speed can result in a 30-percent reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes. This is what we hope to achieve in this event,” he explained.

Dela Fuente further bared that road traffic crashes have increased in the Philippines for the past several years.

“Government data show that transport-related crashes in the country have increased sharply from 15,572 in 2014 to 24,565 in 2016,” he said.

If the government and the public do not introduce effective road safety interventions, more people will die or get injured in road accidents, Dela Fuente surmised.

Thus, SKWP cited the need for initiatives that would make roads safer for commuters and pedestrians, especially children.

Safe Kids Worldwide Network, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association Inc. and the World Health Organization (WHO) joined SKWP in the Save Lives #SlowDown initiative.

WHO Philippines Health Systems team leader Dr. Benjamin Lane suggested lowering the speed limit even by just one kilometer per hour to save many lives.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon said the government plans to implement more programs to address this growing concern of road safety.

He said the DOTr is set to implement various programs that will make roads safer for everyone.

“We are proposing the installation of speed limit devices in all our public utility vehicles, as well as dashcams and CCTVs for the protection of not only our riding public but also pedestrians. DOTr will make sure our roads are safer,” he said.

Local government executives from the cities of Parañaque, Pasay and Quezon have also pledged their commitment to the campaign by enacting appropriate ordinances in their own cities and barangays to implement speed limits.

In 2011, the WHO launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety prescribing a framework designed to curb the rising number of road traffic injuries and fatalities in the World.

Following the 2011 Framework on Road Safety, the DOTr spearheaded the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan (PRSAP) 2011-2020 with the goal of reducing road traffic crashes by 2020.

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