HUMAN error tops main cause of road crashes in the city of Baguio and its neighboring towns in Benguet Province.
In Benguet alone, road crashes have been over 1,000 since 2014.
In the wake of consecutive road crash in the province, Benguet Provincial Police Office Colonel Elmer Ragay disclosed the need of public awareness for everyone's safety.
"I could only cull from statistics, it would appear on a monthly basis pagtinitignan namin iyong vehicular traffic accidents na nangyayari, more than 85 to 90% that happens in the Cordillera are attributed to drivers, so tayo rin iyong karamihang may kasalanan," said Ragay.
The Benguet Provincial Police Office recorded 9,383 road crash accidents from 2014 to August 2019, majority of which are reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property, 2,935 in physical injuries, and 133 dead.
La Trinidad, Benguet’s capital town leads with 5,591 accidents, followed by Tuba with 1,221, Atok with 533 and Buguias with 529.
Some 3,414 involved in the accidents are privately owned vehicles.
"In the province, we have access points coming in and out from Asin Road, Tuba, Kennon, Marcos Highway. What we need is more on public awareness, everybody's participation of course on the law enforcement side. The best thing we could do is to provide police presence during rush hours, especially in accident prone areas but we cannot sustain it in 24/7 basis that is why we need the help of other stakeholders," Ragay stated.
"Mahirap mang sabihin dapat tanggapin natin na hindi tama iyong nakainom at magmamaneho most of this accidents are cause by drivers that are intoxicated," he added.
Ragay added local government units should put up signages along accident prone areas to caution motorists as not all motorists are familiar in the area.
"Driving in Manila is very different when you are driving here in the region. And we have vehicular traffic accident almost every day, if not collision, there are self – accident where they bumped into posts. It goes beyond law enforcement, public awareness and everybody's participation should be increase for the safety of all."
The police chief added basic driving technique, such as defensive driving should be adopted and not forgotten.
"May mga trabaho talagang kailangang magbyahe ng midnight, kailangang magbyahe ng madaling araw. But again let us put into consideration na hindi iyong sarili natin at iyong products na dala natin ang dapat isa alang–alang. When you are on the road everybody's safety is your concern. And of course, roads are beyond the commerce of man, let's all be responsible," he added.
The Baguio City Police Office meanwhile logged 11,045 road crash incidents since 2012.
Road crashes due to reckless imprudence resulting to damage to property had the highest incident with 9,128, followed by physical injuries 1,613 and 40 dead during accidents.
Bulked of the road crash involve are private owned vehicle with 3,720, followed by taxi at 1,197 and motorcycle with 789.
Baguio Traffic Management Unit chief Oliver Panabang said most of the cases are also human error which composes several risk factors such as drunk driving, over speeding and lack of driver's training.
"The cause of accident here in the city is mainly due to human error. Kulang ng skill and disiplina," Panabang said.
Mechanical defect on the other hand recorded as the second cause of road crash for Baguio City and the 13 towns of Benguet.
Land Transportation office Cordillera regional director Francis Almora advised motorists to consider two aspects when driving on the road.
"They must consider their vehicle and their selves to be prepared to avoid accident. Palagi nating sinasabi kapag may ganyan sinasabi natin aksidente but actually it's not accident pwede namang maiwasan sana. Kung sumusunod lang iyong kababayan natin na iba," Almora added.
The World Health Organization recorded 1.35 million deaths each year and noted road crash as 8th leading cause of death of people of all ages with low-income countries.
This story was produced under the Road Safety Journalism Fellowship carried out by VERA Files and the World Health Organization under the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety.