Welcome to Inquirer Mobility

By Mariejo S. Ramos

Road crashes in Metro Manila con­tin­ued de­spite travel re­stric­tions dur­ing the lock­down, data from the Metropoli­tan Manila Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (MMDA) show.

From March to Au­gust, the MMDA recorded 15,220 road crash in­ci­dents. Of the to­tal, 88 were fa­tal and 3,514 were non­fa­tal, and 11,618 caused dam­age to prop­erty.

In March, when Metro Manila was placed un­der en­hanced com­mu­nity quar­an­tine, there were 5,502 road crashes, with 19 deaths.

Although the num­bers sig­nif­i­cantly de­clined in April with 925 cases and 11 deaths, they spiked again in May with 2,137 cases and 19 deaths, and al­most dou­bled in June to 3,848 cases and 30 deaths.

Metro Manila was placed un­der gen­eral com­mu­nity quar­an­tine in June, when the gov­ern­ment started to grad­u­ally ease re­stric­tions on travel and pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

A sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in road crashes was ob­served on Edsa dur­ing the quar­an­tine.

From June 1 to Aug. 31, 618 road crash in­ci­dents with five deaths were recorded on Metro Manila’s main thor­ough­fare.

In 2019, the MMDA recorded 4,652 road crashes with eight deaths on Edsa from June 1 to Sept. 6.

On July 1, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and the MMDA launched the Edsa Busway rapid tran­sit sys­tem to pro­vide “safer and faster” lanes for buses along Edsa dur­ing the quar­an­tine.

On Tues­day this week, MMDA Gen­eral Man­ager Jojo Gar­cia met with po­lice and trans­port of­fi­cials to dis­cuss mea­sures to en­sure road safety. “We found out that many ac­ci­dents were due to drunk driv­ing, tex­ting while driv­ing and over­speed­ing,” said Gar­cia.

Repub­lic Act No. 10586 makes it un­law­ful to “drive a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, dan­ger­ous drugs and/or other sim­i­lar sub­stances.”

“These are ac­ci­dents that could have been pre­vented, and we should tell the pub­lic that we’re se­ri­ous about this,” Gar­cia said, adding that au­thor­i­ties would no longer tol­er­ate bla­tant vi­o­la­tions of traf­fic rules.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO), road traf­fic crashes kill around 1.35 mil­lion peo­ple and in­jure 20 mil­lion to 50 mil­lion more around the world each year.

WHO also notes that more than half of all road traf­fic deaths and in­juries in­volve “vul­ner­a­ble road users”—pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and mo­tor­cy­clists and their pas­sen­gers.

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