The Land Transportation Office in the Cordillera Administrative Region is targeting that 90 percent of the country’s drivers to become proficient in their jobs to prevent road crashes.
LTO Regional Director Francis Rae Almora said the stringent process of getting a driver’s license aims to reduce road accidents as some drivers do not follow traffic laws and regulations.
“Those who will get a student permit have to undergo formal training, pass a theoretical driving exam and the practical driving course,” Almora said.
He said studies show 90 percent of drivers nationwide did not undergo formal training.
“Yung kaalaman nila sa pagmamaneho is more on the skills kasi nakuha nila yung knowledge na yun doon sa isang tao na licensed and then ang pinagkunan din nung tao is skills sa driving pero pagdating sa mga land transportation rules and regulations, hindi nila kabisado,” Almora said.
The formal training is required as early as when a person is getting a student permit – 15 hours of sit-down training completed in three days.
Almora said there are four modules and each module has a corresponding theoretical examination. Road courtesy is also included.
He cited traffic signal lights which, while common, are a source of road crashes.
“For someone who is formally trained and finished a driving course, yellow light means slow down because the red light is nearing but for someone who learned to drive from another driver, yellow light means to go fast so you can beat the red light,” he said.
The year 2021 will be a reckoning year because it will be the year when drivers licenses issued in 2016 will be renewed, he said.
“Whether they will get a 10-year validity for their licenses or will be required to undergo a driver’s enhancement program will be based on their record,” Almora said.
Revocation of a license is imminent if the person recorded more demerits. The demerits emanate from violations of transportation laws, local government ordinances, among others.
Almora said the new law takes effect in 2021 wherein a driver who does not have a demerit will be able to get a 10-year license.
He also said that the Department of Transportation and the LTO already have an active system of registering road crashes from the simplest violation to the gravest. They are now in the process of consolidating data from the Highway Patrol Group, the Philippine National Police, hospitals, and LGUs.
“This is a World Bank-funded project to consolidate data. Once completed, this will allow the LTO to know even the simplest violation at the barangay level which will all be listed as a demerit and considered when renewing a driver’s license,” he said.
Aside from making sure that the driver is “ready to manage a vehicle,” Almora also reminded drivers of the “360-degrees turn.
“Ikutan mo ang sasakyan to have a physical check of its appearance and see if something is missing or something that should not be there. It is a basic measure to avoid road crashes,” Almora said. – PNA