Press Release
March 24, 2007

Recto bats for motorbike safety beyond stop, look and listen

Senator Ralph Recto, an avid biker himself, has called for new education, engineering and enforcement initiatives to promote motorcycle driving safety in view of the surge in the number of two-wheeled vehicles plying the streets.

Safety education for both motorbike drivers and pedestrians has to go beyond stop, look and listen. Last year, 1.551 million motorcycles and tricycles clearly outrun cars and utility vehicles at 1.097 million and 536,049 units, respectively, Recto stressed.

As gas prices soar and traffic conditions worsen, we have to accept that motorbikes will be the main road fixtures, he noted.

Daredevils should rein in their derring-dos. Ban the use of piggyback rides in urban centers. Riding piggy-back could save you a few pesos but it will be in exchange for a broken neck, limb or life, the senator said.

I have seen some riders using painted buri hats. It is good protection from the sun in Pagudpud or Boracay but not against the hard concrete road or the metal of cars and trucks speeding about, Recto counseled.

Citing grim statistics, Recto added: Teaching safety on the streets may sound elementary to others but accidents call for driver and pedestrian education. In Metro Manila, 250 died from motorcycle-related accidents since 2004, averaging 83 fatalities per year.

Nationwide, accidents involving motorcycles totaled 11,425 in 2005, of which 24% happened in January and February at 2,798 incidents. For this year, 485 motorcycle accidents in January and February accounted for 35 percent out of the total 1,364 accidents.

In the first half of last year, motor vehicle registration increased by 6.84 % to 3.519 million from 3.294 million. This brought a surge of revenue by 6% to P6.5 billion from P6.2 billion in 2005, according to data from Land Transportation Office (LTO).

License fees, the second major source of revenue with almost P357 billion, rose from last years P332 billion in collections. Metro Manila contributed the biggest share of revenue among the regions with P2.33 billion, up 3.4% from P2.25 billion in 2005. Central Luzon came in second with almost P827 million, rising by 5.5% from P784 million in 2005.

Metro Manila also had the most number of motor vehicles registered even though it slid to 1.033 million from 1.036 million in 2005. A far second is Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region, with 453,045 registrants. Most were privately-owned cars at 2.868 million. Vehicles for hire and government vehicles accounted for 598,667 and 49,390, respectively.

There are lives that can be saved by road safety education and there is money that can fund it, Recto stressed.

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