Early education to avert rise of road-related deaths

Nueva Vizcaya Representative, Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, has proposed a new law that will include lessons about road safety in the K-12 curriculum. House Bill 8761, otherwise known as the “Road Safety Education Act,” hopes to teach road safety lessons in school.

"Studies showed that several factors cause road crashes, such as road conditions and driver behavior. But studies have also shown how these can be prevented. While several policy measures have been implemented, gaps still remain, according to experts," said the congresswoman in her explanatory note. "Last November 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched a road safety plan to reduce fatalitites from road crash incidents, the vision is to reduce road crashes by 20% in 2022 - a challenge both for the government and advocates."

According to the MMDA data, the road accidents are on a steady rise since they started tallying 24 years ago. Current statistics put it at roughly 299 average incidents per day. The Road Safety Education Act seeks to fill in the gaps in existing policies by mandating the integration of road use, etiquette, and safety in basic education. It is intended to teach safety and proper road use during a child's formative years in order to develop discipline and concern for others at an early age. In turn, it is envisioned to contribute to improving our traffic situation and lessen the steadily growing number of road accidents.

The World Health Organization also published data in back in July 2017 about the lack of road safety in the world, serving as one of the leading causes of mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Lack of road safety also causes between 20 and 50 million injuries every year and is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds - half of the people killed on the road are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. WHO also said that it is also costly to the economy: nearly 3% of a country’s GDP is spent on road accidents and related costs and is likely to be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.