Editorial | Unsafe roads

It was horrifying to watch on TV the scene captured on CCTV of a young woman and her five-year old son almost bulldozed by a truck running full speed in Tugbok district while the mother and child were crossing the street at a pedestrian lane.
Our roads have become something to dread, especially coming after the road crash last Sunday that killed 14 people and injured three others in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
The city has been proactive in legislating the speed limit.
However, we have a long way to go to make our roads safe, especially for those who are vulnerable – children, cyclists, pedestrians, and the elderly.
The World Health Organization has declared 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety which seeks to save millions of lives across the globe. The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, published by WHO, showed that the total number of road traffic deaths has reached 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. Over 3,400 people die on the road every day and tens of millions of people are injured or disabled every year. This information was culled from 180 countries.
Road crashes have become a grave cause for concern such that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has recognized that “road safety is a prerequisite to ensuring healthy lives, promoting well-being and making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”
There are measures proposed by WHO on preventing road crashes: building road safety management capacity; improving the safety of road infrastructure; further developing the safety of vehicles; enhancing the behavior of road users; and improving post-crash response.
Driving in the city is stressful.
There are so many mutated forms of vehicles roaming at night without lights, motorcycles fly without respecting speed limits, taxis and PUJs are bullies on the road.
Yesterday, we were aghast to see how the truck just sped through, not slowing down even if there were pedestrians crossing.
Can the driver claim it was an accident when clearly, he could just have eased on the gas and stepped on the breaks?
Everyone needs to be educated on proper road use, and it should be taught starting Grade 1.

Posted in Opinion