Poe seeks better road and safety signs to lessen accidents

Sen. Grace Poe is seeking to lessen car accidents and other hazards by mandating government agencies to set up road and other public safety signages that follow international standards.

Poe filed Senate Bill No. 2293 or the Public Safety Signages Accountability Act for government to provide citizens with timely and correct information on traffic instructions, road hazards and other warning signages.

“Articles and images of faulty or questionable signages have been reported throughout the years and such still remain as evident threats to both motorists and pedestrians,” Poe said.

Road accidents in the National Capital Region cost roughly one life a day on the average. In 2019 alone, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) registered 121,771 road crashes, 372 of which were fatal.

Despite the mobility restrictions in 2020, the MMDA still registered 65,032 road crashes that cost 337 lives.

While other factors contribute to accidents, Poe said installing visible road signs at ideal distances is clearly a must to protect and save many lives. Under Poe’s bill, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will take charge of the public safety signs on national roads, while the MMDA oversees national roads in Metro Manila and local government units take responsibility for local roads.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), meanwhile, will be asked to update the geohazard map and identify areas susceptible to floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the like, and coordinate with the DPWH and MMDA on setting up the necessary signs.

In case of death or injury due to the lack or absence of a proper safety signage in an area identified as potentially risky, government officers who will be found remiss after due process may face the penalty of suspension of one month and a day to three months for the first offense, suspension of up to six months for the second offense, up to one year and a day for the third offense, and dismissal from service on the fourth offense.

The Philippines ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals in 1973 to harmonize the country’s traffic signs and symbols with international standards and promote road safety.