MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on Tuesday said it might propose mandatory safety training for all motorcycle riders and owners after seeing an increase in motorcycle accidents over recent years.
PNP-HPG Director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal said human error was the top reason for most motorcycle accidents. He said he wants to propose mandatory safety training for motorists even before they are allowed to purchase motorcycles.
Based on data gathered by PNP-HPG, there have been a total of 11,477 recorded accidents from last year until the first four months of the year: 9,574 from January to December 2017, and 1,903 from January until April this year.
“Grabe ang pagtaas so mas maraming buhay na masi-save kung talagang magiging mandatory ang training bago umangkas o magpatakbo ng motor,” Escobal said.
(There is a severe increase so many lives could be saved if we have mandatory training for those who will drive or ride motorcycles.)
Escobal cited how easy it is to purchase motorcycles these days.
“Unang una, 'di naman hinahanapan ng mga dealers kung sila ay may driver’s license na, benta lang ng benta, 'di naman nire-require kung may drivers license. At pangalawa, karamihan ng mga bumibili ay wala talagang training, siguro natuto lamang na umangkas at magpatakbo and then bumili na ng motor,” Escobal said.
(First of all, dealers just sell and sell, they don't require buyers to present a driver's license. Second, most of those who buy have no training, perhaps they just learned to drive then bought a motorcycle.)
Escobal said riding a motorcycle is considered the most unsafe mode of transportation as it involves balancing on two wheels. Even the most experienced driver still gets into accidents.
The HPG strongly advised riders to wear complete protective gear to be safe.
The Motorcycle Federation of the Philippines (MCFP), an organization with 286,000 members, is offering training on riding safety.
According to MCFP President Atoy Sta. Cruz, it is the group's advocacy to teach both experienced and new drivers how to handle motorcycles properly.
He said the organization is focusing on giving training in schools amid the increase in motorcycle deaths involving students who have no driver's licenses.
"Hindi naman sila maawat, itinatakas ang mga motor ng parents nila. Tinuruan na lamang namin sila ng basics, ng tamang paggamit sa motor,” Sta. Cruz said.
(They cannot be stopped, they just take their parents' motorcycles without permission. We just teach them the basics, the right way to use a motorcycle.)
Sta. Cruz said even the most experienced drivers failed the examination the organization gave during training sessions.
Many do not know the speed limit and do not understand road markings.
"Out of 9,000 na kumuha, walang pumasa. Hindi ko masasabi na hindi sila disiplinado, kulang sila sa mga kaalaman," he added.
(Out of 9,000 who took the test, no one passed. I cannot say they lack discipline, they just don't have enough knowledge [about road safety].)
The PNP-HPG is currently working on a partnership with fastfood chain owners to invite their motorcycle riders to a free motorcycle safety training.