Sen. Escudero urges
road board to use funds to promote motorcycle riders' safety
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is urging the government to utilize the
road users’ tax to mount a massive campaign promoting the rights of
motorcycle riders on the road following the World Health Organization’s
(WHO) discovery that 53 percent of road accident fatalities in the
Philippines are motorcycle users.
The campaign, Escudero said, will help promote road courtesy amid
observations about motor vehicle drivers’ tendency to take motorcycle riders
lightly on the road, acting as if they are superior to their two-wheeled
Noting how road courtesy and discipline could prevent accidents on the road,
Escudero urged the Road Board to utilize its more than P1 billion Special
Road Safety Fund for 2015 to develop road reminders on the importance of
sharing the road with motorcycle riders.
Escudero said the Road Board, which oversees the use of funds collected from
the motor vehicle users’ charge (MVUC) or the road user’s tax, should step
up its media campaign to create a better awareness of the rights of
motorcyclists on the road, with motorized 2- and 3-wheelers now outnumbering
cars in the country.
Of the 7,690,038 registered vehicles in 2013, the WHO report said 4,250,667
were motorized 2- and 3-wheelers; 3,009,116 were 4-wheeled light vehicles;
358,445 heavy trucks; and 31,665 buses.
Republic Act 8794 or the Road User’s Tax Law mandates that 7.5 percent of
the MVUC collected by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) should go to a
special road safety fund.
“This is similar to the campaign being done in other countries. We have to
remind our motorists to respect the rights of their fellow motorists
especially motorcycle riders while on the road,” said Escudero, who is
leading all vice-presidential voter preference surveys.
“At the same time, we also have to educate motorcycle riders to respect
their fellow motorists’ rights by not weaving in and out of the lanes. The
riders also have to be warned against having a risk-taking behavior which
include riding without protective gears as well as riding under the
influence of alcohol,” he added.
The veteran lawmaker made the proposal as he expressed alarm over the WHO’s
findings in its Global Status Report on Road Safety for 2015 that riders 2-
or 3-wheelers topped the list of road user deaths in 2013.
According to the study based on the 2013 Traffic Accident Recording and
Analysis System of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH),
pedestrians made up 19 percent of the road user deaths; drivers of 4-wheeled
cars and light vehicles (14 percent) and their passengers (11 percent); and
cyclists (2 percent).
In the study, the WHO estimated the road user deaths in the Philippines at
Escudero earlier filed Senate Bill No. 2886, or ”An Act Regulating Street
and Road Signs, Waiting Sheds, Speed Bumps, Sidewalks, Pavements,
Streetlights and Other Similar Infrastructures” in a bid to improve road
conditions in the country.
The proposed measure mandates the DPWH to set specific standards and
measurements for all road infrastructures such as road signs, streetlights,
pavement markings, waiting sheds, sidewalks and speed bumps across the
Escudero, currently the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and
Natural Resources, said it is important for the DPWH to provide reliable
road instructions to motorists not only to promote safety but also to
advance aesthetics throughout the country’s thoroughfares.