The recent deadly road crash that killed nine and injured 30 others involving two public utility buses (PUBs) was an issue of road roadworthiness, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chair Martin Delgra said.
“When you look at road crashes, among the aspects is the roadworthiness of the units running on the road, hence we really have to look at that,” Delgra told TIMES.
Delgra said the grounds of the 30-day preventive suspension order (PSO) issued by the LTFRB to the Davao Metro Shuttle Corp. is based on roadworthiness issue.
“One of the terms and conditions in the PSO is to inspect the remaining units of the franchise to determine its roadworthiness,” Delgra said.
“As reported, the incident in Nabunturan was because of the explosion of the front tire of the Metro Shuttle bus, which is really an issue of road worthiness. With the multiple deaths and injuries, obviously, that is something that the LTFRB needs to act quickly and that is the reason why we need to suspend them,” Delgra added.
Delgra also emphasized that the LTFRB is moving for a heightened implementation of roadworthiness programs as it is among the primary responsibilities of the Board.
“One of our programs is the regular visual check-ups on units in the garage and in the terminals with our current policy on the vehicle-age policy,” he said.
However, according to Delgra, they are moving towards a more comprehensive inspection system that will abolish the vehicle-age policy.
“With the vehicle-age policy, there should be no unit older than 15 years on the road. For the taxis and UV, 13 years is the oldest. But, we will have to upgrade the inspection of roadworthiness through a Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) a project by the Department of Transportation that is now being procured,” Delgra explained.
The MVIS will have an automated 60-point inspection of the units.
“With the new system with MVIS, the DOTr will abandon the vehicle-age policy. Regardless of the age, as long as it passes the MVIS, it will be approved,” Delgra said.
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