Bills seeking to establish fair accountability for road incidents to be consolidated

This will make investigations fair for law-abiding motorists involved in mishaps
by Leandre Grecia | Sep 8, 2020
PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

Good news, motorists: In a recent hearing by the House Committee on Transportation, it was decided that two House Bills (HBs) that seek to protect law-abiding drivers from unfair rulings during road incidents will be consolidated.

The two bills are House Bill No. 899, or the Fair Road Crash Investigation and Accountability Act, and House Bill No. 1987, otherwise known as the Philippine Responsible Driving and Accountability Act. There are some overlaps between these two, hence the consolidation.

For a bit of context, check out these excerpts from the two bills:

Instances in which culpability of the indicated party shall be presumed, under HB 899:

  • When the driver is intoxicated or driving under the influence of illegal drugs
  • When the driver has no license or has an expired license
  • When there is failure [on the part of the driver] to present the Official Receipt or Certificate of Registration (OR/CR) when asked by the first responder
  • When there is a commission of other serious traffic violations
  • When the driver flees the scene of the crime
  • When there is no evidence [presented by the driver] of franchise or Certificate of Public Convenience presented during apprehension
  • When the person injured was not crossing at a pedestrian lane or road intersection
  • When the person injured crosses the street or highway instead of using the designated pedestrian crossing or nearby footbridge
  • When the person injured is a motorcycle/bicycle/tricycle not wearing road safety devices traveling on a national highway and not driving in the designated or rightmost lane of the roadway in accordance with international standards
  • When the driver or person injured did not have the right of way at the exact time of the accident
  • Other analogous circumstances
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Instances in which the vehicle driver will not be automatically presumed at fault, under HB 1987:

  • The victim is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs 
  • The victim was not crossing the street at a pedestrian lane or road intersection
  • The victim crossed a street or highway instead of using a footbridge 
  • The victim is a bike rider not wearing protective gear or wearing dark clothing
  • 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
  • The victim is a driver who did not have right of way
  • The driver did not flee the scene of the incident
  • The driver was suffering a medical emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, at the time of the accident
  • The driver of the other vehicle has non-functional headlights, taillights, or other warning devices
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During the hearing, the House Committee decided to form a technical working group to lead the consolidation of the two bills. There were no specific timelines laid out yet, but we can all agree that these are welcome developments towards establishing fair accountability for road accidents.

What do you think, readers? You can check out the full documents yourself by clicking here and here.

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PHOTO: Leandre Grecia
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