Speaking in his capacity as chairman of the national auto club’s advocacies and government liaison committee, AAP vice president Johnny Angeles said that road signs bearing the brands of commercial establishments and/or consumer products only confuse motorists.
“Although a road sign is within the peripheral of motorists, drivers might take a longer look at it which could lead to a traffic violation or an accident,” Angeles pointed out. “As we all know, a few seconds of not being focused on the road could lead to a disaster, much like texting while driving.”
“Non-essential road signs that clutter our major thoroughfares are not only eyesores, they also delay traffic flow by distracting drivers,” he added.
Because of this, Angeles urged the government to remove all road signs that have no “traffic- redeeming value.” He cited a provision in the Highway Safety Design Standards Manual of May 2012 stating that “No traffic signs shall bear any advertising or commercial message or any other message that is not essential to traffic control.”
The same manual, signed by Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, states that the “placement of unauthorized traffic signs on the highway right-of-way or adjacent to the road by a private organization is not allowed. The display of unofficial, non-standard and non-essential signs is not permitted.”
Angeles noted that the government has earmarked an ample amount from the national budget for road signs. He said that the DPWH has allotted 7.5 percent of the total proceeds from the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) under the Special Road Safety Fund as mandated by law.
Angeles cited Section 7 of Republic Act 8794 (also known as An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on Owners of All Motor Vehicles and for Other Purposes): “The cost of installation of adequate and efficient traffic lights and road safety devices throughout the country, where such traffic lights and safety devices are needed, shall be taken from the Special Road Safety Fund.”
Angeles suggested that those who donate road signs could place their commercial brand or message at the back of the markings so as not to distract motorists. “In this way, drivers and pedestrians alike would know to whom credit should be given for the road sign,” he said.