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Editorial | Road crashes

In its 2018 year-end report, the Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) recorded a total of 13,709 vehicular crashes: 2,231 of these involve trucks, 1,644 were motorcycles, 804 were Public Utility Jeepneys and 959 were recorded involving taxi cabs. Private vehicles including Sedan and Sport Utility Vehicles have the highest number at 4,107.There were also a total of 940 pedestrians hit by vehicles.

Road crashes are preventable. This year, three of the most tragic crashes were said to be caused by mechanical failure. The World Health Organization maintains that road traffic injuries can be prevented and to do this, governments are encouraged to respond by addressing road safety comprehensively. This requires involvement from multiple sectors such as transport, police, health, education, and actions that address the safety of roads, vehicles, and road users.

Last Saturday, Oct. 19, the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association, Inc. (MDPPA) organizes a Road Safety Summit attended by motorcycle drivers across Mindanao. It discussed the national road safety plans and existing laws and ordinances that prevent road crashes especially in the Davao Region.

Government agencies and NGOs also took part in the summit and provided inputs on road safety.

Consider this: Approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. Road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product. More than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Some 93% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 60% of the world’s vehicles. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years. These are global facts presented by the World Health Organization which member States are seriously campaigning as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

All of us use the road, whether as driver, passenger or pedestrian. Our safety and security on the road is paramount.

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