ANGELES CITY – Pampanga First District Rep. Carmelo “Jon” B. Lazatin II is calling for the inclusion of traffic and drivers’ education in the K-12 curriculum as a means to have safer roads and reducing traffic-related accidents.
Lazatin filed House Bills 4175 and 4406 requiring Grade 11 and 12 students in public and private secondary schools to undergo traffic and drivers’ education to provide them the basic knowledge on using vehicles.
“Equipping pedestrians, passengers and would-be drivers, especially at an early age, with fundamental information of existing traffic rules and regulations is one of the key measures to solve our perennial road problems”, Lazatin said in introducing the “Traffic Education Act of 2016” (HB 4175) and “Drivers’ Education Elective Act” (HB 4406) before the 17th Congress.
The lawmaker explained that “driving a vehicle is a privilege that should be accorded only to those who are found to be fit and competent enough to take responsibilities”, adding that “this is precisely the reason why obtaining a license is a mandatory requirement for every would-be driver in the country”.
He stressed that when this privilege is abused or given to someone unfit, this can result in deadly consequences.
Lazatin pointed out that according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety by the World Health Organization (WHO), 10,379 Filipinos died in 2015 due to road traffic accidents.
He said that of this number, 19% were pedestrians, 14% were drivers of four-wheel vehicles, and 11% were passengers.
In the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, there were 95,615 reported road mishaps in 2015, of which 519 resulted in actual deaths, this according to the Road Crash Statistics Report of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Accident Recording and Analysis System.
The causes of road accidents are varied, ranging from loss of control of the vehicles in cases such as mechanical malfunctions and lost brakes to miserable understanding of driving rules in cases such as over speeding, abrupt maneuvers, bad turns and reverse, overtaking, among others.
Lazatin said the alarming data further necessitates the need to strengthen traffic and drivers’ education even prior to the attainment of a drivers’ license in order to mitigate, if not altogether eliminate, the probability of figuring in road accidents.
Once approved, students and aspiring drivers will have greater and in-depth knowledge of both the theoretical and practical aspects of driving, one of the key measures vital in ensuring safer roads for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, Lazatin emphasized.