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Editorial: Measures needed to prevent road crashes

Regional police director Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales was spot on when he ordered further investigation into the road crash in Nabunturan town last Monday that killed seven and injured 30 passengers. Morales said there is no way we can predict accidents but we can certainly avoid it. He said the management of the bus company should be made to answer and be accountable if there are lapses due to poor maintenance of the vehicle.
A Metro Shuttle bus en route to New Bataan, Compostela Valley collided with a Bachelor Express Inc. heading to Davao City along the Davao-Butuan highway in Nabunturan town on Feb. 4. A preliminary investigation of the LTFRB showed that the right front tire of the bus exploded causing it to encroach to the other side of the road resulting to a head on collision with a Bachelor Express bus travelling on the opposite lane. The speed of the vehicles was not reported.
On Oct. 8, 2018, Davao Metro Shuttle was also involved in a road crash in Tagum City with 30 people injured. The LTFRB issued a preventive suspension on the bus company. This time, the agency ordered a preventive suspension against the bus company, grounding all the Metro Shuttle public utility buses (PUBs) for 30 days.
The image of the badly twisted metals of the buses immediately brings to the fore the likely speed of both buses during the crash. Speed has been identified by the World Health Organization as a key risk factor in road crashes, and the severity of the casualties or injuries that result from the crashes.
Some bus companies have installed a mechanism that enables management to track the speed of their buses. After all, controlling vehicle speed can prevent crashes happening and lessen extent of injuries sustained by the victims.
A good example of this is the city’s experience in imposing the speed limit. A year after the implementation of the speed limit in the city, a 42.9% drop in the number of traffic incidents in the downtown area was reported by then Traffic Management Center chief Superintendent Rhodelio Poliquit.
Installing mechanisms on the road such as speed limits can certainly avoid crashes and save lives.

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