More footpaths can reduce road accidents in the metro

By Monico D. Mekaniko

SAN JUAN CITY, METRO MANILA –To reduce pedestrian-related accidents in Metro Manila, more footpaths should be constructed.

Many road accidents resulting in pedestrian injury or even death are due to the fact that pedestrians walk along or across carriageways and that many roads do not even have footpaths or sidewalks where people can walk safely, according to the Automotive Association of the Philippines (AAP).

The group cited a report by the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), which showed that in 2007, some77 percent of roads in the Philippines do not have footpaths. The report also indicated that about half of the 50,000 kilometers of roads assessed in low- and middle-income countries like the Philippines are rated in the highest risk bands.

In addition, the group said that footpaths in certain areas are being used by sidewalk vendors or cars parked illegally. These obstacles force pedestrians to walk on the road, which increases the risk of them getting hit by vehicles.

“Road death statistics for the Philippines are characterized by the very high number of pedestrian deaths, which account for more than half of all road deaths in Manila,” Augusto “Gus” Lagman, president of the AAP said, citing the iRAP report.

He also criticized the use of rumble strips (raised ceramic or asphalt units used to warn drivers of dangers) which he said do not necessarily reduce road accidents. “Rumble strips are not the solution to the road crashes involving pedestrians along this and many other Philippine highways. Footpaths are.”

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!

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