• Controlling speed is key to safety


    The numbers involving accidents or deaths caused by speeding trucks and buses are just too many to ignore. A few months ago, a 17-car pile up along C5 was caused by a speeding cargo truck, which killed and injured scores of people.

    In Cainta, Rizal, a speeding cargo truck plowed into a crowded and busy intersection killing at least two persons and injuring dozens more. A month before that incident, a bus ferrying students to a campsite in Tanay, Rizal also had an accident from uncontrolled speed and brake loss that catastrophically resulted in the deaths of 15 students.

    These are just examples of critical accidents caused by speeding trucks and buses that contribute to 365 road accidents per year. The Philippine National Police also reported that there are 10 bus accidents in Metro Manila alone. Majority of which were caused by speed or failure of the braking system, because 95 percent of trucks and buses plying the streets of Metro Manila are surplus/reconditioned vehicles that are 20 to 30 years old.

    A 10-wheeled dump truck hit a post of the Light Rail Transit 2 along Marcos Highway in Marikina City (Metro Manila) in March last year, highlighting the need to regulate the speed of large and heavy commercial vehicles in the Philippines. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

    Relative to this problem, the Government has enacted into law Republic Act 10916 requiring the mandatory installation of speed limiters in public utility and certain types of vehicles, otherwise known as the “Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016.” Despite the presence of the law, implementation seems to have hit a speed bump. Under Section 3 of RA 10916, vehicles covered and should be equipped with speed limiters are closed vans, covered vehicles, hauler/cargo trailers, and shuttle services such as the UV Express vans we see on the road.

    Company on a mission
    Pioneer Truck Parts and Equipment Corp., local distributors of Autokontrol is a company on a mission of safety. The company’s product is a device that electronically controls the top speed of vehicles, either to comply with government legislation or the vehicle owner’s requirements without affecting any other aspects of a vehicle’s operation.

    “Aside from reducing road accidents due to controlling of the vehicle’s speed, Autokontrol also helps improve fuel consumption and emissions,” explained Benedict Go of Pioneer.

    The device works by way of controlling the fuel flow system (for vehicles without engine managements) or by a drive-by-wire system.

    “The ECU [electronic control unit]is connected to a speed signal [electronic speedometer, anti-lock brake system or mechanical sensor]and receives frequency signals while the vehicle is moving. At a preset frequency, say 80 kph, the ECU transmits a signal to the engine management system, which then holds the vehicle’s speed. The operator/owner can pre set the maximum speed of the truck or van as he wishes,” explained Go.

    Besides preserving the vehicle’s engine because of revolution and speed control, the Autokontrol speed limiter will stop erring drivers from over revving, and this immediately equates to cutting down on fuel costs. The rev control system ensures to correct driver behavior and driving style, which is crucial in an urban environment.

    “Our objective is for all fleet owners to extend vehicle life, improve economy, reduce maintenance costs, and promote public commuter safety,” Go said.

    Autokontrol is a Romatic Speed Control System designed and developed since 1980 and currently used in Europe, Middle East, and Asia as a standard equipment for trucks, buses, and commercial vehicle fleet operations. The system have received numerous approvals from truck manufacturing such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, Isuzu, Leyland, DAF, GM General Motors, Peugeot, Renault, FUSO, Land Rover, and ERF, and approval from the British Ministry of Defence for Land Rover and Pinzgauer Vehicles.


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