MANILA — With the spate of vehicular accidents all over the country, a lawmaker renewed his call to support his bill requiring professional drivers to go through a mandatory driver’s education and road safety program.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita B. Suansing said her House Bill 5380, to be known as the “Professional Driver’s Education Act,” mandates all drivers in the public transportation industry applying for a professional driver’s license or renewal of their license to enroll in the program.
The Professional Driver’s Education and Road Safety Program for drivers covers provincial and city bus operations, public utility jeepneys, taxis and public shuttles and van services.
The bill provides that once the driver passes this program, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will issue a certification to the driver bearing such information.
Professional drivers who fail to comply with the requirements will not be eligible for the application or renewal of a professional driver’s license, which shall be every three years.
In filing the bill, Suansing cited records of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that there was an average of 227 road accidents per day in 2012, which involved common carriers and professional drivers.
“It is almost every day that we hear about road traffic accidents reported by the media, involving public transport vehicles and trucks, some of which would have been highly preventable had the person behind the wheel practiced road courtesy and showed discipline while driving,” Suansing said.
Suansing claimed many of those privileged to drive display a lack of discipline, leading to everyday traffic jams and altercations.
According to the veteran lawmaker, her proposal was in line with the mandate of the State to maintain peace and order, protect life, limb and property and promote the general welfare for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.
Under the bill, the LTO is directed to collect and analyze data on vehicular accidents and other information than can be used to monitor the effectivity of the program and for research, technical assistance, and policy development.
Further, the LTO should provide continuous information and awareness campaigns to the target drivers and the general public on transportation safety issues.