It’s obvious that the sheer amount of motorbikes in Metro Manila has greatly increased in recent years. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has also equated to an increasing number of road accidents involving these two-wheelers as well.
According to data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System, a total of 29,261 incidents involving motorcycles were tallied last year—224 of which were fatal. This constitutes 12.95% of all reported accidents in 2018. Take note, however, that other ASEAN countries have numbers worse than ours, which really gives a good glimpse of the risks that come with riding.
To address this problem, the New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) is now looking toward improving safety for riders by adding certain points to its assessment criteria. In 2017, the agency first added blind spot technology to its rating system.
As it pushes further to make cars more motorcycle-friendly on the road, it will be implementing motorcyclist safety as an entirely new pillar in its criteria by January 2021. This will then entail manufacturers to include even more safety technologies such as blind spot visualization and rearview enhancement in order for their cars to achieve five-star ratings. The agency will also be awarding bonus points for Advance Motorcyclist Safety features that carmakers may want to include in their products.
This emphasis on the safety of riders will distinguish the NCAP in the ASEAN region from the others. “Most of the countries (in ASEAN) have the highest fatalities coming from motorcycle (accidents). This is a unique ASEAN problem. You won’t find this one in Europe or US because they don’t have this problem,” says ASEAN NCAP technical leader Yahaya Ahmad.
What can you say about the agency’s latest initiative?