In society today where social media and traditional public information remain to be vital parts of communication and knowledge, most subjects of talks and chats are on the current Covid-19 pandemic. Even national and local government leaders seem to be more focused now on the issue of health and hygiene imposing stricter health protocols for the good of all.
Many have observed that while health protocols on rapid and swab tests are the main concerns today, some government leaders seem to forget other priorities. But there are still some politicos who excel in public service.
Is DPWH that functional and effective?
One area that should also be given importance is road safety. It is observed that even the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is not giving value to road safety.
In many occasions, one could see ongoing road repairs without the proper and required reflective materials to safeguard motorists moving about the highways. The agency is of course active in road building but not much when road repairs are the topic of the day.
Many are also asking if road contractors are committed to serve work warranties on their road projects. Others observed that DPWH people are hesitant (or afraid?) to reprimand contractors on their contracted works. “Why so?” asked some motorists.
There is really a lack of proper highway safety signages to safeguard the lives of drivers. “Reduce Speed” or “PedXing” signages are not enough. There should be more to it.
Because of this, the Citizens Traffic and RoadWatch Group of concerned citizens has been initiating to bring together companies and organizations to support the installation of inexpensive highway signages in Negros Occidental.
More known as the RoadWatch Group, this writer founded this nongovernment organization with the objective of supporting road safety in the province.
The government should expand its concern on road safety by imposing practical safety driving seminars to those who apply for driver’s license including those who renew their licenses. Paper examination is okay but more practical seminars on safe driving are much needed for drivers to learn. This will help lessen road accidents.
No such thing as faulty brakes
There is no truth to claims of truck drivers that there is a faulty brake malfunction when road mishaps occur. It is simply the lack of knowledge of the drivers that the mechanical brakes of a heavy truck can only make the brakes function when the driver is not overspeeding. For big loaded trucks like wing vans and tankers, the weight of the loads could hamper the brake system of the truck. It should only run at around 60kph in long highways and 30kp or lesser in busy streets. With such controlled running speed, road mishaps could be a zero matter.
Defensive driving always
Private vehicles like SUVs, pick-up trucks and sedans encounter road accidents because of their drivers’ negligence most likely. Defensive driving is one factor lacking in so many drivers nowadays.
What is defensive driving? It is the mindset of a driver to think ahead of any possible road troubles while he is driving. In a road curve, the driver must slow down as there could be a stalled vehicle on the blind curve. Drivers must also avoid hurried overtaking since a crazy driver might not allow road space for him to overtake.
Drivers must be defensive in mind always.
The Airport Access Road
Many road mishaps have occurred in the so called Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road or the Circumferential Road. Who are at fault in the occurrence of road accidents? Conclusions will always point at the drivers themselves.
Many private vehicle drivers man their vehicle recklessly because they have a brand new vehicle fully equipped with safety devices. No, sir, you are not safe with a brand new high speed vehicle.
Yes, the vehicle is brand new but the question is whether the driving skill of the driver is in top shape or not. Driving attitude and behavior can save or ruin your life.
So, what is the problem with this airport access road? The DPWH in their most intelligent minds forget to install road bumps to caution and awaken sleepy drivers. The access road does not have slim island to prevent counter flow and unnecessary overtaking. It needs road bumps every two kilometers.
Has DPWH thought of these safety concerns when they built road projects? The public is simply asking.
This column greets Tony Agustin, Francis Velez, Raymund Javellana, Anthony Visitacion, Raymond Dabao, Millie Gonzaga, Neel Abordaje, George Jardiolin, Jennylind Cordero, and Charles Lim./WDJ