Road crashes are the leading cause of death for young Filipinos according to the WHO (PNA photo)

Reports of road crashes have almost become a daily staple with multiple fatalities in incidents from Quezon, Cotabato, Palawan and Metro Manila within a week.

The World Health Organization global status report and the International Road Assessment Program show there are 35 road fatalities and 348 serious injuries reported every day in the Philippines, most of those killed ride motorcycles.

Globally, road crashes cause about 27 million dollars or more than a billion pesos in economic losses daily, including loss of livelihood and medical costs.

Road crashes are the leading cause of death for young Filipinos.

The International Road Assessment Program stresses the importance of investing in road safety such as providing separate lanes for motorcycles, creating road divisions and making spaces for sidewalks to help save lives.

Citing data from the World Bank, the IRAP stated a 10 percent reduction in road traffic deaths raises per capita real GDP by 3.6 percent while halving deaths and injuries due to road traffic could potentially add 7% to Philippine GDP.

“In a situation like this, it’s not a question of whether someone will die or not. It’s not the question. It’s how long you have to wait,” IRAP Managing Director for Strategic Projects Greg Smith said.

In 2011, leaders committed to reduce the level of road traffic fatalities around the world by 2020 but more needs to be done.

“We have the road safety management, safer roads, mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users and the post-crash response. But we are now in 2019, one more year in the decade of action but still we need drastic action to address issues on road safety,” WHO’s Eric Lazarte said.

The Land Transportation Office says the agency continues to conduct operations and inspections to ensure enforcement of laws on road safety emissions, the use of seat belts, drunk driving, and child safety on motorcycles.

“We, at the LTO know that these initiatives are not enough thus we have been instituting measures for road safety. These are contained in the LTO road safety action plan,” LTO’s Eric Galvante said. (Jasper Camilo)