Lawmaker wants speed limiters installed in buses

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THE recent highway tragedy in Taguig City that killed 18 people prompted a legislator to seek mandatory installation of speed limiters on all public utility buses plying city and provincial routes.

Iloilo Representative Jerry Trenas, a member of the House committee on public works and highways, filed House Bill 3624 seeking the legislated installation of speed limiters, which, he said was proven to be effective in the United Kingdom.

Eighteen people were killed and at least 16 others were injured when the Don Mariano Transit Corporation bus driver lost control of the vehicle while plying from the elevated portion of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) around 5:15 a.m., causing the bus to fall toward a section of the West Service Road in Bicutan, Taguig City.

"The proposed legislative measure takes the discretion to over-speed away from the driver by mandating the installation of speed limiters in all of the public utility buses in the country, which would limit the maximum speed of buses to 60 kilometers per hour," Trenas said.

Under the House bill, all bus companies are mandated to install speed limiters on all public utility buses. Otherwise, bus drivers will be penalized with one-year imprisonment and a fine of P300,000.

The installation of speed limiters will also be a mandatory requirement for the issuance of a new franchise or for a renewal of franchise to operate public utility buses in the Philippines.

National highways and expressways with minimum speed limits of 60 kilometers per hour or above are exempted from the proposal.

Any person who tampers with an installed speed limiter meanwhile will be meted with a six-month imprisonment penalty and a P100,000 fine.

"Under the Civil Code, common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers transported by them. Unfortunately, our common carriers, especially the drivers and operators of bus companies, have failed to exercise the extraordinary diligence required of them," Trenas said in the bill's explanatory note. (Sunnex)

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