Aiming to promote road safety in the country, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), launched the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2018-001 which primarily promotes road classification for purpose of speed limit setting.

With the main purpose of reinforcing existing Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transformation and Traffic Code, the latest JMC 2018-001 provides guidelines on implementing speed limit and aims to create a system among Local Government Units (LGUs) in setting speed limits on national roads.

“What we want to highlight in the JMC 2018-001 is that speed kills,” said DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark De Leon. “That for every percentage one increases speed, increases the percentage of a fatal crash.” De Leon furthered. The DOTr Assistant Secretary also shared the vital role of the agency’s partnership with the LGUs to better implement local laws on speed limit. “This is a beginning of a more dynamic collaboration towards safer roads in the Philippines,” said De Leon.

JMC 2018-001 empowers national and local governments to work in coordination in implementing local ordinances on speed limit in their roads. Based on the section 38 of the Traffic Code, LGUs are mandated to classify roads within their jurisdiction and implement speed limits. Guided by Administrative Order (A.O.) 222 of 1991 and A.O. 184 of 2007, DOTr is spearheading the JMC launch following the agency’s mandate to lead road safety interventions.

Joining the officials from DOTr, DILG and DPWH, the launch of the new JMC was also graced by representatives of World Health Organization (WHO) along with road safety and public policy advocacy groups such as ImagineLaw and Dakila.

Correlation of speed and road crash reflects in a WHO study which reveals that speed is the major contributor to road crash fatalities. Study shows that increasing speed increases both risk and severity of resulting injuries. Also, findings reveal that 30% of fatal road crashes caused by speed. More so, speed serves as an aggravating factor in 50% of fatal road crashes.

Studies also indicate that setting speed limit and effectively enforcing it is considered to be one of the most efficient and practical measures to reduce the number of fatal road crashes.

ImagineLaw’s Atty. Sophia San Luis cited WHO’s recommendation of an intervention in order to eradicate, if not, minimize road crashes, “we’re trying to introduce an effective intervention to prevent the continuing rise of the trend of road crashes” and evidently enough with this new JMC, DOTr along with its partners are determined to solve road crash incidents. “The government has really ranked up its efforts in order to reverse this trend.” furthered San Luis.

Seeing as one of the hindrances in eradicating road crashes is the lack of database regarding the issue, DOTr partnered with the World Bank to develop a system for road crash data collection. The Data for Road Incident Visualization Evaluation and Reporting (DRIVER) system is a web application designed to view, collect and analyze road incident data in the Philippines to help LGUs to conduct effective enforcement activities. LGUs may enroll in the DRIVER system by simply submitting letter of intent to DOTr. Meanwhile, the DRIVER system is available for data viewing to the public in www.roadsafety.gov.ph.

by John Rey San Diego
From: Transportation Sector Pushes for Road Reclassification and Speed Limit Setting