Bill aims to make mishaps involving riders, pedestrians fair to law-abiding drivers

Could this be a game-changer?
by Drei Laurel | Aug 13, 2019
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Law-abiding motorists may soon have something to fall back on in the event they figure in a road incident with a reckless motorcycle riderpedestrian, or driver of a motorized vehicle.

House Bill No. 1987, also known as the Philippine Responsible Driving and Accountability Act, has been filed in Congress with the aim of protecting drivers who are in the right in the event of accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists.

“Under current laws and procedures, drivers or motorists involved in road safety incidents and traffic violations are presumed at fault even when pedestrians and/or other motorists are at fault or also share fault,” the bill reads. “This bill seeks to make our laws also fair to the drivers who were not at fault.”

Under the Philippine Responsible Driving and Accountability Act, the driver of a vehicle will be presumed not initially culpable or at fault for an incident if any of the following applies to the situation:

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  1. The victim is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  2. The victim was not crossing the street at a pedestrian lane or road intersection
  3. The victim crossed a street or highway instead of using a footbridge
  4. The victim is a bike rider not wearing protective gear or wearing dark clothing
  5. The victim is operating a motorcycle, tricycle, or bicycle traveling on a national highway under the minimum speed limit or not on the rightmost lane
  6. The victim is a driver who did not have right of way
  7. The driver did not flee the scene of the incident
  8. The driver was suffering a medical emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, at the time of the accident
  9. The driver of the other vehicle has non-functional headlights, taillights, or other warning devices

Reasons that the driver may be held initially culpable are if he or she flees the scene, was driving at high speed, committed at least one traffic violation, was operating the vehicle with an expired license, or was under the influence.

You can check out the full bill in the tweet by its author, Representative Frederick Siao, below:

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The initial presumption of culpability will be determined by authorities first at the scene of an incident and investigators who will secure sworn statements from those involved and witnesses.

If this passes into law, it could turn out to be a game-changer for drivers who figure into accidents with reckless pedestrians, riders, or drivers. What do you think of this?

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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