- Over 10,000 road crashes have already been recorded in the country in the first four months of 2016 alone
- In contrast, records show over 15,000 road crashes in 2014, and 24,000 incidents in 2015
- Experts believe it is high time to implement stiffer penalties for those involved
As the number of road crash incidents increase, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), as well as road safety experts, have suggested raising stiffer penalties against those involved in such accidents.
Data shows that from the 15,272 incidents of road crashes across the country that resulted in 1,252 deaths in 2014, the number has increased to 24,565 road crash incidents that resulted in 1,040 deaths in 2015.
However, in just the first four months of 2016, the PNP-HPG has already recorded 10,656 road crashes with 549 dead in the whole country.
Investigations show that the top causes for such road crash incidents are: bad turning, bad overtaking, over speeding, mechanical defects, drunk driving, distracted driving or the use of mobile phones while on the wheel, overloading, poor road conditions, and avoiding animals, pedestrians, and other road hazards.
The PNP-HPG, however, believes that many of such accidents could have been avoided if motorists practiced defensive driving.
“Being a defensive driver, you have three moral obligations. One is the safety of your passengers and of course, yourself. The second is the safety of the motorists, and foremost is the safety of the pedestrians,” explains PNP-HPG spokesperson Supt. Elizabeth Velasquez to ABS-CBN News.
Meanwhile, road safety experts highlight the responsibility of the drivers during such incidents.
“Dapat e hindi na natin tinatawag na aksidente ang mga sitwasyon na ‘yan. [We shouldn’t be calling accidents those kinds of situations.] We now call it road crash. It’s a neutral term. Kasi pag sinabi nating… road accident, para mo nang ine-exonerate yung involved parties e, na wala silang kasalanan. [Because when we say… road accident, it’s as if you exonerate the involved parties as if they had no fault],” elaborates Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership secretary-general Bert Suansing.
One possible deterrent eyed in minimizing the number of road crashes in the country is the implementation of stricter penalties and imprisonment for those involved in such incidents.
Experts believe that if those involved end up simply getting away through settlements, incidents of road crashes would simply continue and injure more individuals.
Watch an ABS-CBN News report here: