ABOUT half a year ago, Congress passed and sent to Malacañang for President B.S. Aquino’s signature the bill “Mandating the Installation of Speed Limiters and Setting Speed Limits for Public Utility Buses.”
The bill has remained unsigned.
The Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) strongly urges President Aquino to sign the bill and, therefore, get it enacted before he ceases to be President 13 days from now.
We support the AAP. We implore you, Mr. President, to make this bill a law that will surely reduce the number of bus crashes and, therefore, save many lives.
AAP President Gus Lagman says the proposed measure will require the installation of speed limiter devices not just on passenger buses but on other long-haul vehicles, such as trucks and trailers. It will promote road safety substantially.
The speed limiter bill in Malacañang waiting for President Aquino’s signature is a consolidated version of Senate Bill 2999 and House Bill 5911. The House of Representatives approved as soon as Congress resumed session last month (May 23). The Senate approved it on Feb. 2.
If President Aquino signed the bill, he would be enacting a landmark law that would be hailed forever as a great legacy of his presidency. It would cut the number of road crashes drastically, Lagman says. It would mark the administration of President Aquino as a champion of road safety, he adds.
If enacted by the President, the law would require the mandatory installation of speed limiters on public utility vehicles (PUVs). The Land Transportation Office (LTO) would not register any vehicle without a speed limiter device; the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) would also not grant any bus franchise without it. Of course, media and transportation industry watchdogs would have to monitor proper compliance. Everyone knows that some public utility companies and operators have ways of accomplishing “improper compliance” with regulations.
AAP President Gus Lagman, who is a Manila Times columnist, says the relevance of installing speed limiters on buses and trucks to further promote safety and order on the country’s major thoroughfares cannot be overemphasized.
“There has been a substantial number of deaths and injuries involving speeding buses, trucks and other public utility vehicles, whose drivers carelessly risk the lives and limbs of their passengers,” Lagman said. The installation of speed limiter devices will greatly reduce these deaths and injuries.
Mr. Lagman adds that AAP’s advocacy for the enactment of the speed limiter law is in line with the United Nations campaign named Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
This effort aims to reduce road traffic fatalities worldwide by 50 percent by the year 2020.
The proposed law would impose a fine of P50,000 on the operator, driver and owner of a long vehicle without a speed limiter, or with a tampered speed limiter, or with a non-functioning speed limiter. Those who tamper with speed limiters would face a six-month to three-year jail term and P30,000 fine.
In addition, subsequent or repeat offenders could face the added penalty of the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license, while a repeat offender public utility operator company could lose its franchise.
Mr. President, please do sign this bill into law.