Beng pushes for road safety, traffic rules awareness drive PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 January 2014 13:07

Mayor Beng Climaco has called on all traffic law enforcers, motorists, commuters and pedestrians to strictly follow the existing rules and regulations governing road safety and courtesy in a bid to put order on the city’s streets and highways.

Climaco made the call during the traffic rules awareness and information campaign initiated by the city government, Land Transportation Office 9 and Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) yesterday morning.

She said the activity was very necessary for Zamboanga City to have law-abiding citizens and to make driving and use of the streets safe for everybody, especially the children.

In her first State of the City Report last week, Climaco informed the public that she had issued an executive order directing the police and the city’s traffic aides or “blue boys” to be strict, aggressive and consistent in the implementation of traffic laws, rules and regulations.

The first wave of the campaign by the “blue boys” alone netted hundreds of violators.

For his part, LTO-9 Regional Director Aminula Abaton told the participants that as of 2013 there were 77,641 registered vehicles in Zamboanga City, of which 48,978 were motorcycles and 4,124 tricycles.

“Imagine the volume of vehicles plying the streets of Zamboanga in one sitting. This is a big challenge to us in the LTO and even the police as far as traffic management is concerned,” Abaton said as he commended the city government for initiating the traffic rules awareness and information campaign.

“This activity is pro-active on the part of the city with the end in view of coming up with a comprehensive, doable and efficient traffic management plan that rationalizes all land transportation services,” he said.

Abaton, however, lamented that every time there is a traffic problem the public always blames the LTO. “We must bear in mind that road safety is everybody’s responsibility, not only of the LTO, of the police, of the drivers and/or of the commuters, but all who use the streets, roads and highways,” he stressed.

He explained that LTO’s vision is to put order on the road, license quality drivers, and register roadworthy and emission-compliant vehicles. “A (driver’s) license is not a right. It is a privilege granted to qualified, well-trained and educated drivers.”

Abaton expressed dismay over some of the motorists’ temerity to violate traffic regulations even knowing that the act is violative of existing traffic laws.

An example, he said, is the helmet law (RA 10054). “People already know that driving a motorcycle without helmet is unlawful, yet they still do it. So the problem is more on the discipline of the drivers. Some motorists are hard-headed,” he said.

According to him, human factor had caused 77.12% of road accidents. It includes driver’s error, drunk driving, over-speeding, hit-and-run, self-accident, bad turning or illegal U-turn and using cellphone while driving.

A research conducted by ADZU showed that 60% of the drivers have no correct understanding of the traffic signs, and 50% or 5 out of 10 traffic enforcers including the police themselves did not have correct understanding of traffic rules and regulations.

Thus, the traffic awareness campaign was carried out to re-orient, re-educate, for information drive, enforcement and continuous monitoring.

Present during the traffic awareness campaign were City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon, Assistant City Administrator Elmeir Apolinario, City General Services Officer Rene dela Cruz, the police traffic officers, representatives from different public transport groups, and City Mayor’s Office Computer Division staff headed by Cesar Mandin — Vic Larato