Duterte won’t budge on speed limits

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


NO AMOUNT of complaints by motorists will make Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte take back his Executive Order (EO) No. 39, which sets speed limits in the city, particularly the 30-kilometer per hour (kph) speed limit in downtown areas.

“Wala akong pakialam kung satisfied o dissatisfied kayo. It’s not my law, I just implement it,” Duterte said Monday.

Duterte was referring to Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines enacted in June 1964, whose only amendment was through Presidential Decree No. 843, which only tackled vehicle registration fees.

The EO 39 mandates drivers of all vehicles plying in the city must observe a maximum speed of 30 kph from J.P Laurel Ave. Alcantara to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, from Buhangin Crossing-Milan to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, from C.P Garcia Highway-Bacaca Road to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, and from C.P Garcia Highway-Angliongto St. to Bolton/Generoso Bridge.

“Talagang mahina. Ang buhay sa Davao ngayon is very slow, slow motion and I like it because it has reduced considerably the number of accidents in the city. Wala akong pakialam. I cannot change the law. That is a national law. I cannot amend it. I cannot change the law,” Duterte said.

Under Chapter IV Section 35 of RA 4136, it sets the maximum allowable speeds at:

- 80 kph for cars and motorcycles and 50 kph for trucks and buses “on open country roads, with no ‘blinds corners’ not closely bordered by habitations.”

- 40 kph for cars and motorcycles and 30 kps for trucks and buses “on ‘through streets’ or boulevards, clear of traffic, with no ‘blind corners,’ when so designated.”

- 30 kph for all vehicles “on city and municipal streets, with light traffic, when not designated ‘through streets’.”

- 20 kph for all vehicles “through crowded streets, approaching intersections at ‘blind corners,’ passing school zones, passing other vehicles which are stationery, or for similar dangerous circumstances.”

Drivers, mostly driving taxicab, are complaining with the 30-kph speed limit.

“Nagbaba gyud akong income. Hinay kaayo uy. Lisud pud kung dili ta mutuman kay basig madakpan ta. Naa na baya daw speed gun si mayor,” a Maro taxi driver said, but refused to be named for security reasons.

Another taxi driver, driving under Maligaya company, said the policy is good to obviate traffic accidents but there is one request he wants to air out.

“Unta hangyuon ni mayor ang mga operator ug taxi nga pababaan among arkila,” he said.

However, Duterte said he cannot do anything about it since the order is aimed “to protect the life and public and private property.”

“Dapat sumunod ang lahat, including the military, police, civilians and everybody else. All should maintain a speed of 30, 40, and 60,” he said.

The EO mandates a 60 kph from Sirawan to Ulas Crossing, from Lasang to Panacan, from Calinan to Ulas Crossing, and from C.P Gracia Highway-McArthur Highway to Panacan.

Meanwhile, for vehicles that traverse from Ulas to Generoso Bridge/Bolton Bridge, from Panacan Crossing to J.P Laurel Avenue-Alcantara, and from Ma-a Road Diversion to McArthur Highway, a maximum speed of 40 kph is mandated.

The City Government of Davao handed over at least 11 speed guns to the Traffic Management Group (TMG), which started to issue temporary operator’s permit (TOP) to erring drivers.

TMG Supt. Rhodelio Poliquit told Sun.Star Davao that they were able to arrest 172 violators since last week.

Duterte, on the other hand, said he will join the enforcers in implementing the speed limit ordinance since he will use one of the 11 speed guns. (Sun.Star Davao)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 18, 2013.

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