Group seeks laws to protect kids from road mishaps
(The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Health advocacy group New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) yesterday reiterated its call for legislators to pass measures to protect children on the road, following the death of seven children in an accident in La Union last month.

In a statement, NVAP project manager Einstein Rojas said lawmakers should now see the importance of passing legislation as children “are more vulnerable to sustaining debilitating injuries, even death.”

He said such incidents “make it imperative for… lawmakers to pass a law that will specifically cater to the protection of our kids on the road.”

House Bill 5595 or “An Act Providing for the Special Protection of Child Passengers in Motor Vehicles and Providing Appropriations Thereof” is pending in the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 1447 or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act” is also pending at the committee level.

NVAP’s call comes after 20 people, including seven children, were killed when a passenger jeepney collided with a bus in Agoo, La Union on Dec. 25, 2017.

“We need not look far back in seeing the importance of protecting children on the road. The La Union tragedy, though involving public utility vehicles, clearly shows that more road safety measures are needed,” Rojas said.

Citing Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, NVAP said that 671 children under 14 years old died annually from road crashes from 2006 to 2014.

In 2014 alone, 253 children aged 5 to 9 and 195 children aged 10 to 14 died from road crashes.

Adamson student run over by truck

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Adamson University high school student was killed after being run over by a trailer truck in front of Paco Park yesterday.

Friends took to Twitter to give tribute to Justinne Sarmiento, who was run over by an Isuzu trailer truck driven by Rene Perez at around 11 a.m. .

The accident happened just in front of Paco Park and the headquarters of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Manila special rescue unit.

Security guard Nolan Pedrano said Sarmiento was on her way to Paco Park with her friends when she was sideswiped by the truck.

The driver was arrested and detained at the traffic unit of the Manila Police District.

BFP fire inspector Christopher Andrade said they had to use a hydraulic jack to remove her body from under the wheels.

Fire officers rushed her on foot to the nearby Manila Medical Center, where she was declared dead.

Friends tagged her Twitter account @tinnekerbell in sharing their fondest memories of the teenager, who was described as a “bubbly” and intelligent student.

Jesserene Bantolo told The STAR that Sarmiento was her student when she was in junior high.

She said Sarmiento was an awardee and a dedicated student.

On its Twitter account, the Adamson University senior high department newsletter Spotlight described Sarmiento as a “bubbly” person.

“You were such a joy to work with, Tinne. We’re going to miss your bubbly personality and charm during meetings and interviews,” it read. – Sheila Crisostomo, Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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