All elementary and high school students may soon be required to take a road safety and comprehensive drivers’ education if a bill filed in the Senate would be enacted into law. Sen. Bong Revilla, Jr. has filed Senate Bill No. 451 which would integrate basic road safety and comprehensive drivers’ education in the curriculum of the K-12 program.
“The World Health organization considers road safety as a public health issue since one of the leading causes of death is road accidents,” Revilla said.
“It is alarming that a lot of adults today have little or no knowledge of basic road safety and traffic rules and regulations. Studies show that many road accidents and mishaps resulted from ignorance or false understanding of traffic rules and regulations,” he added.
A 2019 report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that from 2012 to 2017, road accident is the top leading cause of death among teenagers aged 15 to 19 and the 2nd leading cause of death from 2007 to 2011 among teens of the same age group.
The same report showed that road accident is the top leading cause of death among young adults aged 20 to 24 from 2013 to 2017 and the 2nd leading cause among young adults of the same group from 2006 to 2012.
The report showed a 107.54 percent increase in deaths from road accidents among teens aged 15 to 19 from 504 deaths in 2006 to 1,046 deaths in 2017 and an 88.32 percent increase among young adults aged 20 to 24 from 839 deaths in 2006 to 1,580 deaths in 2017.
According to the report, 8,886 teens aged 15 to 19 died from road accidents between 2006 to 2017 while 13,509 young adults aged 20 to 24 died from the same cause between 2006 to 2017.
Central Luzon (Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales) recorded the highest road accidental death with 13,433 from 2006 to 2017, followed closely by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 11,265 deaths from 2006 to 2017 and Region VI (Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo) with 8,594 deaths for the same period.
Under the bill, the Department of Education (DepEd), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), University of the Philippines-National Center for Transportation Studies and road safety advocates and organizations shall develop a basic road safety curriculum to be integrated in the curriculum of all educational institutions both private and public, starting from elementary to senior high school.
The curriculum shall include rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and commuters in the use of all types of road transportation, road awareness, road signage and responsible commuting, driving rules and regulations, driving courtesy, driving safety, road hazards and vehicle of safety features. Revilla said the funds needed for the implementation of the Act shall be sourced from the Road Safety Fund which is 7.5 percent of the Motor Vehicles User’s Charge.
“By producing well-rounded individuals, we will increase the safety and efficiency of road traffic,” Revilla said.