Road safety pushed as subject in schools

·Kim Arveen Patria
Road safety pushed as subject in schools

With the growing number of road accidents in the country, some lawmakers think it would be better to start kids young on road safety knowledge.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. have filed House Bill 4160, which seeks to include road safety in basic education curriculum.

Under the proposed law, a new subject called “road courtesy, discipline and traffic safety education” will be taught to students from first grade in elementary to senior year in high school.

It will include traffic signs; rights and obligations of pedestrians, drivers as well as vehicle owners; laws on driving; fines and penalties for violations; and a subject on local traffic codes.

“There seems to be a growing number of traffic accidents in the country which can be attributed mainly to the sheer disregard of traffic laws or ignorance,” Rufus Rodriguez said.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) website showed an estimated 8,499 deaths due to road traffic accidents in 2010. This translated to 9.1 deaths per population of 100,000.

The Department of Health has no disaggregated data on road accidents but includes it in a bulk figure under “accidents,” which it listed as the fifth leading cause of death in the Philippines.

In 2009, accidents led to 39 deaths per population of 100,000. This placed accidents behind diseases of the heart and the vascular system, malignant neoplasms and pneumonia as the leading killer.

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