#Love30: ImagineLaw urged speed limit at 30KPH

ImagineLaw joins the global community of road users in celebrating the 6th United Nations (UN) Global Road Safety Week from May 17 to 23, 2021 with the theme – “Streets for Life: #Love30”.

ImagineLaw is a Philippines-based public interest law organization that develops and advocates for evidence-based policy solutions to enable all people to live healthy and meaningful lives. 

This year’s theme is a global call for stakeholders and leaders to commit to make all road users safe by setting safer speeds, such as 30kph on roads where people mix with motorized traffic.

The group urged the Philippine government to enforce the 30kph speed limit in city and municipal roads.

#Love30 2021

Why #Love30

In 2018, 12,487 people died on Philippine roads—that is more than one (1) person every hour, or more than 34 persons every day.

Half of the people who were killed by road crashes were vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, commuters, children, older people, and persons with disabilities. Vulnerable road users risk their lives every time they travel on roads where people mix with motorized traffic, with the greatest danger posed by speeding motor vehicles.

Speeding motor vehicles make roads unsafe because speed increases both crash risk and crash severity. In other words, the faster a motor vehicle travels, the longer it takes to stop to avoid hitting a pedestrian or a cyclist or even another vehicle, and the more likely that a crash will result in severe injuries or death.

The risk of death or serious injury to a pedestrian or cyclist involved in a road crash also increases exponentially for every 5kph increase in speed. In fact, an increase in average speed of even just 1kph typically results in a 3% higher risk of a crash resulting in injuries.

These are the reasons why the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified speeding as the most significant road safety risk factor and why the WHO recommends setting and enforcing speed limits as among the most cost-effective measures to reduce road deaths and injuries.

Recognizing the urgent need to address the speeding problem in the country, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) issued Joint Memorandum Circular No. (JMC) 2018-001 in 2018. JMC 2018-001 mandates local government units (LGUs) to classify roads to set appropriate speed limits, such as 30kph on city and municipal roads and 20kph on barangay roads and crowded streets.

However, despite the introduction of speed limits in the Land Transportation and Traffic Code in 1964 and the issuance of JMC 2018-001, less than 2% of all LGUs are reported to have complied with their mandate to set and enforce speed limits within their jurisdiction. With the rising number of road crash fatalities since 2006, the failure of LGUs to set and enforce speed limits is alarming.

Road safety advocates #Love 30

Evidence shows that 95% of pedestrians are likely to survive a crash at the speed of 30kph. That is why this Global Road Safety Week, ImagineLaw and other civil society organizations call on our local and national government to love 30 and to set safe speed limits of 30kph or less on roads where people live, work, and play,” said ImagineLaw’s Executive Director Sophia Monica San Luis.

The observation of the UN Global Road Safety Week amplifies the public’s call for roads where people can walk, live, and play safely.

To urge both local and national government to ramp up speed limit setting and enforcement, ImagineLaw and other groups advocating for road safety have lined up activities like webinars, live discussions on social media, releasing a unified statement for safe speeds, and social media poster campaigns, which will all be available at www.facebook.com/imaginelawPH/, to grow support from pedestrians, cyclists, commuters, children, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable road users.

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