The Roman Superhighway in Bataan, Philippines has been a significant transportation route for residents and visitors alike. However, the highway has also witnessed its fair share of road crashes over the years.
In an effort to address this issue, Governor Joet Garcia of Bataan has emphasized the importance of collective responsibility in reducing accidents on the Roman Superhighway, the province’s main artery. Alongside the Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA), the provincial government has implemented various programs and policies aimed at ensuring road safety. This comprehensive article explores these initiatives and their impact on minimizing accidents and promoting safe driving practices in Bataan.
Decrease in Road Accidents
From former Governor Abet Garcia to Governor Joet Garcia’s leadership, with the collaboration of all stakeholders have resulted in a gradual decline in the number of recorded accidents on the Roman Superhighway. From January to April 2023, Bataan recorded 263 road crashes, which is a slight decrease compared to 278 in 2022 and 288 in 2021. While the decline may be modest, it indicates progress and a commitment to further reducing road accidents in the province.
Focus on Motorcycle Safety
Data from the MBDA shows that motorcycles are the most commonly involved vehicles in road accidents in Bataan, accounting for 42.41% of the recorded crashes in 2023. Recognizing this trend, the MBDA, in collaboration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Philippines, has taken proactive measures to promote safer motorcycle riding practices. They have initiated training programs that provide valuable guidance on responsible and safe motorcycle operation. These efforts aim to equip motorcyclists with the necessary skills and knowledge to mitigate risks and contribute to overall road safety.
Policies and Ordinances
The Metro Bataan Development Authority, under the guidance of the Provincial Government of Bataan, has introduced several policies and ordinances to reinforce road safety on the Roman Superhighway. These measures are designed to regulate and educate road users, ensuring compliance with crucial safety practices. Some notable ordinances include:
1. Speed Limits: The establishment of speed limits helps control the flow of traffic and reduces the likelihood of accidents caused by excessive speed. By setting reasonable speed limits, the MBDA aims to enhance safety and minimize the risks associated with high-speed driving.
2. Driving while Intoxicated: Bataan’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed an ordinance (Ordinance No. 1, Series of 2019) that strictly prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. This regulation aims to deter impaired driving, a major cause of accidents, and emphasizes the importance of responsible behavior behind the wheel.
3. No Overloading Prohibition: The MBDA, in coordination with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), has implemented regulations to prevent overloading of vehicles. Overloaded vehicles pose a significant hazard on the road, affecting their stability and maneuverability. This ordinance helps ensure that vehicles comply with safe weight limits, reducing the risk of accidents caused by overloaded trucks or buses.
4. Keep Right Except to Overtake: The latest addition to Bataan’s road safety ordinances is the “keep right except to overtake” policy for slow-moving vehicles. This regulation emphasizes the importance of lane discipline, allowing smoother traffic flow and minimizing the potential for collisions caused by erratic lane changes.
Road Safety Month
In line with their commitment to promoting road safety, Bataan joins the whole nation in the observance of the month of May as National Road Safety Month. Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A declares the month of May as Road Safety Month to promote road safety and raise awareness on traffic rules, reduce casualties due to road accidents. This dedicated period allows authorities, organizations, and communities to collaborate and raise awareness about safe driving practices. During this month, various initiatives such as seminars, workshops, and campaigns are conducted to educate the public on the importance of responsible driving habits and adherence to traffic rules and regulations.
Governor Joet Garcia, in partnership with the Metro Bataan Development Authority, has made significant strides in enhancing road safety along the Roman Superhighway. By implementing comprehensive programs, enforcing ordinances, and providing training opportunities, they are actively addressing the underlying causes of road accidents. While the decrease in accidents may be incremental, it reflects a collective effort to create safer roads for all residents and visitors in Bataan. The commitment to road safety initiatives remains crucial in preserving order and ensuring the well-being of every Bataeño family. (Mhike Cigaral, May 22, 2023)