Pile-up leads to proposals for tunnel check, Traffic Code

HOW safe is the tunnel in the South Road Properties (SRP) for motorists to ply?

To check its current condition, the Cebu City Council has asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 to inspect it and upgrade safety measures being implemented in the tunnel.

It also asked DPWH to have the SRP tunnel lighted at par with safety standards practiced by First World countries.

For his part, Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera is push-ing for the codification of all local traffic rules in the city, so that it can be updated and enforced more efficiently.

In a resolution approved during last week’s regular ses-sion, Councilor Raymond Garcia said there is a need to inspect and upgrade the SRP tunnel’s safety measures, if warranted, to prevent accidents.

The measure is in response to a multiple vehicular collision that occurred in the area almost two weeks ago. Twelve persons were hurt in the accident that involved nine vehicles inside the tunnel at past 4 p.m. last Jan. 17. Those involved in the collision were a prime mover, two L300 vans, two 10-wheeler trucks, a Toyota Vios, a Montero Sport, a taxi, and a motorcycle.

The collision caused heavy traffic in the SRP for almost five hours.

“While the cause of the accident is reported to be the loss of control of a certain prime mover, the accident serves as an eye-opener as to the security and safety measures imple-mented inside the tunnel,” reads a portion of the resolution.

In a corollary motion, Councilor Joy Pesquera also asked the DPWH to check the integrity of the underground structure since the area above it is being used as a parking area.

To shed light on the issue, the council also invited of-ficials of the DPWH, Land Transportation Office 7, Cebu City Transportation Office, Cebu City Department of Public Services and the SRP Management Office for an executive session on Feb. 13.

Meanwhile, Garganera said his proposal to update the Traffic Code would help officials determine what areas in lo-cal traffic laws should be improved.

“Our problem is that when we ask the Secretariat of the Sangguniang Panlungsod about a particular traffic ordinance, they give us the bulk of those ordinances passed pertaining to traffic and it’s really hard for us to look one by one,” he told reporters.

Garganera, who is former chairman of the Council’s committee on transportation, said it took them four months to organize everything.

Councilor Garcia said that after the codification, the council can then amend some of the traffic rules and impose higher penalties on violators. “But I want first to meet with the heads of the traffic office and other stakeholders so they can advise us on how to improve and if there are additional violations that were not included,” he added.
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