Sunday, November 11, 2012

Road Safety And World Day of Remembrance 2012


The years 2011-2020 is the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Terms like road rage, distracted driving, killer highways, DUI (driving under the influence) have been read and heard about but still, the statistics for road and crash victims continue to grow. To create awareness and remembrance, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims started by RoadPeace in 1993, was endorsed on October 26, 2005 by the United Nations as a global day to be observed every third Sunday in November each year.

On November 18, 2012, Project C.A.R.E.S (Community Activities Reaching to Everyone through Services), will once again commemorate this event with a candle lighting ceremony at the Provincial Capitol Lagoon in the morning and at Robinson's Bacolod in the afternoon. Their founder and executive director, May Altarejos Cueva began her road safety advocacy after she lost a brother in a tragic car accident in 1995.  Since then, she has single-handedly and tirelessly worked with agencies like the PNP, LTO, DepED, DoH, among others, to bring the importance of road safety to people's consciousness.  I am one of those people.

I too, had an uncle who died in a car accident in 1969.  He was only 35 years old, leaving a young wife and seven children, the oldest of whom was only 10 years old.  The last time I saw him was during my 13th birthday only 2 weeks before, so alive, so happy, bringing me a birthday cake baked by his wife.  His death changed his children's lives forever.  As in any tragic accident, there were many questions...many what if's.  As years went by and when I became a driver myself, the answer is clear.  Car accidents are preventable and avoidable.

How do we prevent road traffic accidents and deaths?  Here are my simple and basic rules that all drivers and pedestrians must learn and live by.
  1. Always use your seat belt. 
  2. Never put children in the front seat.  Keep them restrained either in a car seat or if they are big enough, make them use a seat belt.  In countries like the Philippines where a car seat is not a requirement and expensive, let the child sit on an adult's lap while wrapping arms around her or him.
  3. Wear a crash helmet when riding a motorbike or bicycle.
  4. Drive within the speed limit. Going too slow or too fast can lead to accidents.
  5. Keep your car in good condition. Keep copies of your car maintenance records and LTO papers in your car compartment.
  6. Do not drive under the influence of alcohol, or when too tired or sleepy.
  7. Avoid driving in adverse weather conditions.
  8. Drive defensively, never offensively.
  9. When stopping, always use the road shoulder.  If you have to stop on the road because your vehicle is stalled, use your early warning devices (EWD) but don't just put them anywhere. This is how you should place them.
  10. Slow down when approaching street corners and pedestrian lanes. Be more careful at night since it is difficult to see pedestrians, even with the headlights on. 
  11. Always give way to pedestrians by doing a full stop.
  12. Always use the pedestrian lane or overpass when crossing the street. Walk fast, stay alert and do not get distracted like calling or texting while crossing the street.
  13. Follow traffic rules and signs.  If you don't know these rules/signs, study and learn.  Here is a link to an online test on traffic and road signs.
  14. Do not overload your car with more passengers that it can carry.
  15. Observe road courtesy, stay calm and focused when driving.

As a final word, I believe that road safety is both the driver's and the pedestrian's responsibility.  If both stakeholders follow traffic safety rules conscientiously, then accidents and unnecessary deaths may be a thing of the past.  Our goal should be for zero deaths.

Drive safely...Arrive alive.




18 comments:

  1. Great post! We always wear seat belts. Lets spread the word on this.

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  2. With deepest gratitude, DR. MARITEL LEDESMA!

    Requesting readers (all concerned roads & streets stakeholders) to please pre-register names of victims of road traffic crashes to Project C.A.R.E.S. c/o May Altarejos-Cueva at 4765773 or 09164531908 or 09323335089. The victims will especially be remembered in solemn memorial rites on November 18 (Sunday). Thank you very much.

    TOGETHER, we can save more lives!

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  3. I must learn more about road safety....I'm just new in driving and I am not yet familiar with all the rules in the road. The best thing to do is to learn safety!

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  4. kaya maraming naaksidente saatin kasi naman maraming nag fifixer lang at yung mga hindi naman nag fifixer may nanadyang mambagsak para lagyan sila.

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  5. A safe road is the result of an educated motorists thanks for this information and may the number of accidents reduced because of this blog.

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  6. Hindi tayo kulang sa Road safety laws, ang masakit lang kasi maraming pasaway na drivers. And yes, ang masaklap pa, may mga taong holder ng license na hindi naman makaintindi kahit road signs lang. Only in the Philippines.

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  7. This could really be useful if only drivers are disciplined enough to follow this really simple rules.

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  8. Project CARES seems to be really nice and very heartwarming. Its good to know that there are activities like these who really cares to everyone. And yes, safety should always be there.

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  9. When I drive, I always take note of all the things I've learned from Dad. It is important to become a defensive driver all the time.

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  10. This is my big worry when it comes to Philippines road safety.Children especially new born and toddler don't have car seat .The parents just carry them tightly but what if accident happens? those tight handling wont work at all ,before you knew it ,the baby /child will be thrown out of the car or crashed the front of the car. Too sad, the government are not after seat belt and child's safety.Here in the US, before you check out your new born in the hospital ,car seat is already waiting in the car or the police will give you ticket.

    I care a lot about children's safety, so I wont focus on other road safety thing.

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  11. I learned to drive here in the US, so it's a must to wear a seat belt. It doesn't feel safe without one! I agree with your list! We need to be defensive in driving; and we need pray for safety always!

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  12. I'm glad I'm in a country where road safety is given importance. First thing to do is to pass their exam for driver's license and many really say it is very difficult to have it here in Germany.

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  13. Although I don't know how to drive, I think everyone should learn about road safety.

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  14. It's not that we're lacking in rules and regulations, it's just that a lot of times, laws aren't being enforced well enough! It's much too easy to bribe one's way out. For example, I use a public motorcycle to get to the office. I discovered that many of the helmets are fake and unrated, but payments have been made to those who check these things. I opted to buy my own US-rated helmet instead.

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  15. Wow, another nice list to be remember. I was supposed to create a top 10 list about road safety measures before driving but here you are - already composed a list. Can I refer this to this list when I have time to compose a long and precise one? I'll credit it to you. :)

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  16. Great road safety tips. Tips like this must be printed out in a readable poster type paper or board and posted at all vehicles, more importantly in public vehicles to minimize further incident or accident.

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  17. All These tips will be in vain if we dont have discipline, which is lacking in many Pinoy drivers here in the PH, excluding the ones in abroad

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  18. Road safety is very important for all age groups while driving .Keep the site in right direction..Car Accident lawyer

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