“Our roads present various forms of danger. While we are all exposed to these harms as road users, it is the children who are at the highest risk of dangers,” Rash Caritativo, OIC-Executive Director
of the artist-advocate group, DAKILA, said during the Buckle Up! Bloggers and Media Launch for Road Safety, a gathering of bloggers, parents, and road safety advocates for road safety held last May 8 at Limbaga 77 Resto Bar.

The gathering was organized by DAKILA, together with road safety coalition co-members ImagineLaw, Ateneo School of Governance, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), PECOJON, and Vera Files among others, highlighting the importance of keeping road users, particularly children safe on the road.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), road crashes are among the leading causes of fatality among five to 24 year olds, and is the fourth for children aged five to nine. Philippine Statistics Authority’s data show that 99 children are killed as a result of road crashes monthly in the country. However, these deaths could have been prevented through proper road safety education and comprehensive measures.

During the gathering, Dr. Ronaldo Quintana of the WHO provided parents, bloggers, advocates, and members of the media about road safety principles, pillars, its risks, and how it is a developmental and health issue. Atty. Mary Grace Anne Rosales – Sto. Domingo of ImagineLaw, on the other hand, discussed how speeding endangers the lives of road users, and provided safety measures moms, parents, and even local governments can do to make their travels safer for their family and children.

“Many schools are located along national highways where the speed limits range from 60 to 80 kph. These speeds are not survivable for children,” Rosales said, giving emphasis on how speeding puts the lives of children in peril. “If hit by a car at the speed of 60 kph, only 1 out of 10 children will survive.” Rosales added that through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2018-001, local government units will now have the mandate to classify the roads for appropriate speed limit setting. JMC 2018-001 was signed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of the Interior Local Government (DILG), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last February. “Under JMC 2018-001, LGUs have the power to identify crowded streets such as schools, play areas and market areas, to lower the speed limit to 20 kph. When it comes to our kids, 20 is plenty,” she said.

Meanwhile, Karl Carumba of the group, IDEALS, discussed how children can be protected on the road through the child restraint system (CRS), a protective measure that will help protect children in an incident of a road crash. It was followed by an exhibit and demonstration of the proper installation of the car seats led by the

“Children’s safety is the utmost importance for parents, especially mothers. As we celebrate the Road Safety month and Mother’s Day this Sunday, we hope that more mothers – parents – and the government would take part in pushing for children’s safety while on the road,” Caritativo concluded. The coalition hopes to draw the public’s support on the CRS Bill, a bill that mandates all children riding private vehicle to use CRS that is appropriate to the child’s weight, height, and age, which is currently pending in the Senate, as well as support in setting and enforcing of speed limits in local areas. To know more about how to support the road safety campaigns, visit www.fb.com/BuckleUpKidsPH and www.fb.com/DahanDahanSaDaan.

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