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LTO exec to slow-moving vehicle drivers: “Stay on the outer lane”

By Lizel S. Macatangay


LAND Transportation Office (LTO) Naga Chief Grace Rojas called on drivers of slow-moving vehicles to utilize the outer lanes, aiming to lessen if not eliminate road mishaps following the increased presence of motorcycles and e-trikes in the national highways in recent years.


Rojas said that this has been their constant reminder to those using slow-moving vehicles following the increase in road crashes involving motorcycles.


“Kung ma oobserve ta ang mga roads ta ngunyan, usually 4 lanes na. Sa four lanes na yan, ang lane 1 and 4 iyo yan si mga slow moving vehicle. Lanes 1 and 4, si pinaka outer lane iyan ang para sa slow moving vehicle, mayo po digding pinipili, gabos na maluyang padalagan; car, SUV, motor, or tricycle dapat outer lanes sinda (If we observe our roads now, there are usually 4 lanes. Out of those four lanes, lanes 1 and 4 are designated for slow-moving vehicles. There’s no discrimination here; any vehicle, whether it’s a car, SUV, motorcycle, or tricycle that moves slowly, should be in the outer lanes),” Rojas said in vernacular.


Land Transportation Office (LTO) Naga Chief Grace Rojas checks on the registration and licenses of drivers to ensure adherence to the law and safety of the passengers. || Photo credits: Chief Rojas FB page


This is also reinforced by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2023-195 dated December 6, 2023, which states the “reinforcement of the prohibition of tricycles, pedicabs, and motorized pedicabs on the national highway.”


Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code also cited some provisions on traffic laws and regulations involving the operation of motor vehicles, revocation and renewal of licenses to drive motor vehicles, passenger and freight, among others.


Keep your eyes on the road


Rojas said that they are continuously conducting driver’s education training to ensure the safety of both motorists and pedestrians, particularly that most road crashes are caused by “human error” or self-inflicted accidents.


The LTO Naga Chief said this is also aligned with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) advocacy for stricter criteria in the issuance of driver’s licenses and comprehensive roadworthiness assessments for all motor vehicles.


This initiative aligns with the intention to reduce road accident fatalities by 35 percent before the conclusion of President Ferdinand Marcos’s term.


Over the past four (4) years, there has been a 43.05% rise in the number of road accidents leading to fatalities and an 84.65% increase in incidents causing physical injuries in the Bicol region, spanning from 2020 to 2023.


These records are derived from the comparative report on road crash incidents in Region V from 2020 to 2023 from the database of the Philippine National Police (PNP)- Regional Investigation and Detective Management (RIDMD).


Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Grace Rojas reiterated safety reminders to motorists to always keep their eyes on the road and adhere to traffic rules at all times to avoid road mishaps.


“The number of fatal road crashes surged from 223 in 2020 to 319 in 2023, and instances leading to physical injuries increased from 2,894 in 2020 to 5,344 in 2023,” Rojas said in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency Camarines Sur.


Road crashes resulting in damage to property slightly decreased from 5,986 in 2020 as compared to the 2023 records of 5,659, based on the regional data.


In Camarines Sur, the number of road crashes recorded a surge of approximately 53.73%, rising from 67 incidents in 2020 to 103 last year while the number of injured or wounded individuals resulting from road crashes rose from 1,235 in 2020 to 2,587 before the end of 2023.


In Naga City, the count of damaged properties declined from 1,372 in 2020 to 1,044 in 2023. Concurrently, the number of injuries experienced a modest rise, increasing from 238 in 2020 to 348 in 2023.


Unfortunately, the fatalities resulting from road crashes escalated from 7 in 2020 to 14 in 2023.


According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023, “Road traffic deaths and injuries remain a major global health and development challenge. As of 2019, road traffic crashes are the leading killer of children and youth aged 5 to 29 years and are the 12th leading cause of death when all ages are considered. Two-thirds of deaths occur among people of working age (18– 59 years), causing huge health, social and economic harm throughout society.”


The report added that “more than half of fatalities are among pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Occupants of 4-wheel vehicles account for almost one-third of fatalities. Occupants of vehicles carrying more than 10 people, heavy goods vehicles, and “other” users constitute one-fifth of all deaths. Micro-mobility modes such as e-scooters account for 3% of deaths.” (Source: file:///C:/Users/PIA/Downloads/Global-Report.pdf. (PIA 5)

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