Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative, Robert Ace Barbers, filed House Bill 505 or the “Roadworthy Driving Seminar for All Drivers Act” that aims to instill discipline and inculcate knowledge of road safety and traffic laws and regulations by requiring new driver’s license applicants and existing licensed drivers to undergo a mandatory driving seminar and an actual driving test before being granted full driving privileges.
“Apart from constructing more public roads and highways and providing more options for the commuting public, one straightforward solution to the traffic problem is to instill discipline and impart knowledge among motorists,” Rep. Barbers said.
House Bill 504 wants to reinforce the fact that a vehicle driving license is a privilege, not a right. It further declares it is the duty of the State to adopt adequate and unequivocal measures to ensure orderly traffic across the country. Safe and disciplined driving practice is key to alleviate the country’s horrendous traffic crisis, it states.
The curriculum of the seminar shall include the following, among others: 1) safety precautions; 2) concept of accident preventability, including a discussion of the magnitude of traffic accident problems; 3) techniques for defensive driving and handling critical situations; 4) Philippine traffic law and regulations, vehicle dynamics, capabilities, limitations, and highway environmental factors such as a) traffic signs, signals, markings, right-of-way requirements, and speed, and b) vehicle capabilities, such stopping distances and passing abilities as well as highway settings, operating environments and adverse conditions affected by weather, illumination and obstruction; and 5) first aid applications and basic knowledge on rescues.
Moreover, the bill mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to create a program for the driving seminar and an actual driving test. A Completion Certification shall be issued to the successful driver’s license applicants, both new and old.
In addition, the LTO shall 1) require at least three hours of instruction, with a certified instructor present; and 2) require at least 30 minutes of actual driving through the roads by the applicant, with the test supervisor who will determine the fitness, qualification, readiness, ability to drive, and the actual application of the knowledge learned from the seminar.
For the successful applicant, the cost of the seminar and the actual driving test shall be incorporated in the license fee, which shall be determined by the Head of the LTO. Those who fail shall pay a fee of P500 to P1,000.
House Bill 505 is in response to President Duterte's call for mandatory rider training for all motorcycle riders. It also hopes to eradicate the need for fixers inside the LTO, who for a fee can "fix” every issue a driver or a would-be driver may encounter with the LTO, particularly their promise to provide one with a driver's license without even stepping inside an LTO office.
Presently, the LTO's current plan is to outsource accreditation of instructors and driver training to the public in a bid to speed up the driver training process and decongest LTO offices.
A similar bill requiring mandatory driver training has already been filed in the senate.