SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A lawmaker has filed a bill requiring professional drivers to go through a mandatory driver's education and road safety program.
Rep. Estrellita B. Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija) said 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 program shall cover provincial and city bus operations, public utility jeepneys, taxis and public shuttles and van services.
Once the driver has passed this program, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) shall issue a certification to the driver bearing such information, the bill provides.
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 said there is an average of 227 road accidents recorded per day by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) 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.
Sadly, Suansing added, that many of those privileged to drive display a lack of discipline, leading to everyday traffic jams and altercations.
According to Suansing, her proposal is 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 shall provide continuous information and awareness campaigns to the target drivers and the general public on transportation safety issues.