House to look into mass transport accidents

Posted at 12/18/2013 8:08 PM | Updated as of 12/18/2013 8:08 PM

MANILA - House Committee on Transportation Chairman Cesar Sarmiento will launch an investigation into the recent spate of accidents involving mass transportation, the latest of which is the Don Mariano bus crash.

Sarmiento said the panel will exercise its oversight function and check laws that are not being implemented and "to curb, minimize and put an end to to accidents "

He believes the spate of road accidents can be attributed to insufficiency in the implementation of traffic rules and regulations.

Sarmiento said having overworked drivers may have been a factor in the case of the Don Mariano incident.

He said bus drivers are only allowed to work a maximum of 12 hours.

Bayan Muna lawmakers want a fixed monthly salary to bus drivers and conductors to solve another perceived cause of road accidents.

They said the "boundary" system results in overworked bus drivers.

Sarmiento said greater law enforcement could deter accidents.

In addition, Sarmiento wants the creation of a National Transport Safety Board, similar to the US agency which is an independent, non-regulatory investigating arm on any form of accident.

"Ang trabaho nila, determine immediate cause and (issue) safety recommendations to the concerned agencies. After a certain period, determine whether safety recommendations have been observed," he said.

Other measures that can be considered include determining a vehicle's road worthiness.

Other bills pending before the committee on road safety are bills against texting while driving and the regulation of children on motorcycles.