ON WEDNESDAY morning, 10 individuals were confirmed dead while eight others were injured after a vehicular clash involving a commuter van and a truck in Tibungco, Davao City.
According to the Davao City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), the vehicular accident was caused by the negligence of the van's driver. Dionisio Abude, CTTMO chief, said the driver of the van failed to observe traffic rules and lacked discipline. He said the driver exceeded the 60 kilometer per hour (kph) speed limit in the area.
Questions have come out not only questioning the safety of commuter vans traveling to the city but also to the responsibilities of the traffic enforcers, especially those monitoring the speed limit of cars traversing the roads of Davao City.
The incident happened early in the morning, so does this mean that there were no traffic enforcers monitoring the speed limit early in the morning when it is usually this time that commuters start to enter the city?
Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte-Carpio also said, "It seems that authorities have again faltered in their duties and obligations."
"Dugay ug gikapoy nako sige pahinumdum sa LTO, LTFRB, ug CTTMO nga disiplinahon ang mga van drivers entering Davao ug mga bus drivers ug labina mga jeep nga Toril ang biyahe (I am tired of always reminding the LTO, LTFRB, and CTTMO to discipline the van and bus drivers entering Davao City and especially jeeps traveling to and from Toril)," Duterte said in a post on social media.
As commuters, the recent incident has got us worried on the safety of traveling via public utility vehicles (PUVs) within Davao City especially in areas where motorists tend to exceed the speed limit.
As far as most of us commuters are concerned, jeepney drivers traveling between Toril and the downtown area do have the tendency to go beyond the speed limit especially once they pass Crossing Ulas.
We do see the presence of traffic enforcers monitoring the speed limit in downtown area but we barely see them at the outskirts of the city.
In response to the vice mayor's statement, Abude pointed out that the fault of the vehicular accident was that of the driver and not their office's negligence to monitor overspeeding.
He said aside from their four speed guns, which he claims that is enough to cover the southern and northern parts of the city, they have also requested additional speed guns.
Aside from getting additional equipment, maybe they should also intensify their information and education campaign on traffic rules in the city to PUV drivers.
Likewise, they should probably also encourage Dabawenyos to also report erring drivers like providing a better communication platform.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on June 16, 2017.
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