BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is toying with the idea of recalling or amending his much-maligned executive order setting maximum speed limits for motorists, but it may never come or may take a long, long time before its critics could heave a sigh of relief.
Maybe after all drivers learned the value of driving discipline and respect for human life, said Duterte in the recent edition of his Sunday television program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa on ABS/CBN. The mayor was asked by co-host lawyer Geraldine Tiu if he has plans about amending the over-speeding law in view of the criticisms.
Duterte said the law is more about protecting people’s lives against abusive drivers.
Duterte issued Executive Order No. 39 setting speed limits at 60kph outside of city proper, 40kph at the approach to downtown area and 30kph inside the city proper.
This is for the safety of the public, said Duterte as EO No. 39 elicited reactions many adverse mostly from motorists.
But Duterte is unfazed by the flood of criticism and EO No. 39 stays untouched.
The campaign against speed maniacs had become a personal crusade for the mayor, with many people killed in road accidents involving abusive or drunk drivers.
To give more teeth to the campaign , EO No. 39 mandates apprehending officers to impound vehicles of violators and bring the drivers to the hospital for alcohol and drug tests.
Those suspected as drunk or drug-influenced should be locked up, said Duterte who warned apprehending offers who release the apprehended drivers should join the violators in the detention cell of police stations.
Duterte also said the local government would provide assistance to victims to pursue charges against the abusive drivers.
The EO aims to “obviate traffic accidents resulting from over speeding and reckless driving.”
The EO limits a maximum speed of 60 kilometer per hour (kph) from Sirawan to Ulas Crossing, from Lasang to Panacan, from Calinan to Ulas Crossing, and from C.P Gracia Highway-McArthur Highway to Panacan.
For vehicles that traverse from Ulas to Generoso Bridge/Bolton Bridge, from Panacan Crossing to J.P Laurel Avenue-Alcantara, and from Ma-a Road Diversion to McArthur Highway, a maximum speed of 40 kph is mandated.
A maximum speed of 30 kph, is ordered from J.P Laurel Ave. Alcantara to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, from Buhangin Crossing-Milan to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, from C.P Garcia Highway-Bacaca Road to Bolton/Generoso Bridge, and from C.P Garcia Highway-Angliongto St. to Bolton/Generoso Bridge.
Violators shall, if warranted, be subjected to arrest and their vehicle impounded without prejudice to the imposition of penalties and fines under the provision of RA 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) and Davao City Ordinance No. 778.
Implementing agencies of the EO are the Traffic Management Center (TMC), Traffic group-DCPO, Land Transportation Office-Davao City and Highway Patrol Group while the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board and Department of Public Works and Highways serve as the support agencies.
In issuing EO 39 Duterte said “in the interest of public safety and order, there is an imperative need for the city government to immediately address this serious concern through a renewed vigor of regulation as well as the adoption of local measures.”
City Hall has bought a number of ‘speed guns’ provided to traffic enforcers to establish violations.
Among violators recently booked was former Mayor Sara Duterte, the mayor’s daughter, who was caught speeding at 50kph along 40kph route Quimpo Blvd.
She has apologized for her act saying she thought the road was a 60kph stretch.