The Senate on Monday, Jan. 18, approved on third and final reading a bill that seeks to mandate the installation of a speed limiter in all public utility buses (PUBs).
Sen. JV Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Service and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2999, said the installation of speed limiters would reduce road accidents, which have “dramatically increased over the years.”
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported a total of 12,875 accidents in 2013. The figured ballooned to 15,572 in 2014 and in 2015, PNP recorded 13,366 accidents on the roads for the months of January to July alone.
Ejercito cited a study conducted by the UP National Center for Transport Studies (UP-NCTS) on the speed control of public utility buses in 2014 which showed that bus riders are considered to be most exposed to risks.
The study gives emphasis to the fact that a bus is six times more at risk than a car, and five times more than a jeepney, Ejercito said.
He said the installation of a speed meter would regulate speed and curb the fatalities of the roads. The same study showed that the installation of speed limiters had been successful in minimizing bus accidents, Ejercito said.
“The installed speed limiter will be programmed at a maximum 60 kilometers per hour for PUBs traversing EDSA, and a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour for those traversing expressways such as North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway),” the bill said.
Under the proposed measure, PUBs will not be registered by the LTO, granted new or franchise by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), unless the standard speed limiter is installed.
“There will be an accreditation to ensure that every speed limiter installed in buses are acceptable to international standards and that precise specifications are met,” Ejercito said.
“Any person who will tamper the installed speed limiter or fail to comply with the mandatory installation shall be punished by imprisonment and/or fines,” he said.
Under the proposed bill, PUB operators who failed to comply with the mandatory installation of electronic speed limiter shall be fined with an amount not exceeding P100,000 and a suspension of the franchise until compliance of the installation.
“A driver who operates a PUB or the owner or operator who allows such driver to operate without the speed limiter or a tampered one shall be fined P 50,000,” the bill said.
The license of the erring driver will be suspended for a period of one month or the franchise of the PUB for a period of three months for first time offenders.
“A P 30,000 fine and imprisonment from six months but not more than three years shall be imposed on an individual who is found guilty of tampering speed limiters,” Ejercito said.