Top Gear Philippines

Lessons about road safety may soon be part of the grade school and high school curricula as two solons recently filed a bill seeking its inclusion in basic education to raise kids' awareness and empower them to protect themselves from road accidents.

Rep. Angelo Palmones of the AGHAM party-list and Rep. Homer Mercado of the 1-UTAK party-list filed House Bill 4890, otherwise known as the Road Safety Education Act of 2011, to address the need for the Filipino youth to be educated on road safety.

"I believe that the State can ensure the protection of the vulnerable road users by supporting all road safety strategic measures and programs that will inculcate in the minds of school children through early basic education, behavioral changes and discipline in road use," Palmones said.

According to Palmones, at least 2,000 Filipino children under 14 years old die every year while on the road, and that at least 150,000 of the road accident victims who are admitted to hospitals and for emergency care annually are predominantly child pedestrians.

"As guardians of the basic needs and protector of their constituencies, the House of Representatives must take the lead in ensuring protection to vulnerable road users like child pedestrians," Palmones added.

Under the bill, the Department of Transportation and Communication and the Department of Public Works and Highways will address road-safety concerns for youthful road users by not only coming up with collaborative programs with the Department of Education but by also providing infrastructure and funding allocations to develop and improve road safety behavior and environment around school zones.

In February 2011, the Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership launched a project with the government, the private sector and other non-government organizations to educate schoolchildren on road safety by utilizing flash cards as instructional materials for fifth grade public school students.

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