Government to require speed limiters on all vehicles

In Photo: Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon

Story & photo by Randy S. Peregrino

YOU may never have to worry about accidentally going over the speed limit on the expressway ever again.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon told the BusinessMirror at the opening of the 2018 Manila International Auto Show on April 5 that the government will require all vehicles in the country to be equipped with a speed limiter.

“For public transportation, the speed limit would be 80 kilometers,” de Leon said. “For private cars, it would be 100 km. We won’t register your vehicle unless you’re installed with a limiter.”

However, de Leon could not give an exact timeline for the policy’s implementation as he said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is still finalizing the processes for installing the limiters.

“Before the Holy Week break, sinign ni [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade ’yung guidelines from the DOTr,” he said.

{Before the Holy Week break, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade signed the guidelines from the DOTr.]

“We will be transmitting the guidelines to the DTI for their appropriate action,” de Leon added. “So their certification process, accreditation process on the installers, producers, these are all the DTI mandate, so we’ll be pushing for them. I cannot answer kung kailan nila ilalabas ’yung sa kanila [when they will release their guidelines].”

The move, which de Leon said would affect up to 8 million vehicles, came amid the government’s implementation of Republic Act 10916, or the “Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016.”

The measure requires public-utility vehicles, shuttle services, cargo haulers and tanker trucks to be equipped with a device limiting a vehicle’s top speed.

“For in-use vehicles, which still don’t have that ECU [electronic control unit], you will have mechanical [speed limiter],” he said. “But for brand-new vehicles, which usually have ECUs already, electronic na ‘yun [these will use electronic speed limiters].”

Meanwhile, De Leon said speed limits in urban areas will be strictly enforced.

Nag-release tayo ng [We released] joint memorandum guidelines with the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) on speed limit and ordinance enforcement,” he said.

De Leon was pertaining to Joint Memorandum Circular 2018-001—released by the DOTr, the DILG and the Department of Public Works and Highways in February 2018—that allows local government units to set lower speed limits on their roads.

He said the government is requiring the speed limiters to increase road safety in the country.

“Of course, the most problematic, usually, are the in-use vehicles because the brand-new [vehicles] are usually already installed with safety features,” he said. “The old vehicles, imagine, don’t even have ECUs. It doesn’t have any automatic braking system.”

The only law that mandates vehicle-safety equipment is Republic Act 8750, or the “Seat Belt Use Act of 1999,” which requires all cars sold in the Philippines to have seat belts in the front and rear seats.

In other countries, life-saving safety features like airbags and electronic stability control—a system that prevents vehicles from slipping out of control, especially in wet conditions—are mandated in all new cars. The World Health Organization’s 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety said enforcing speed limits is vital in reducing fatalities in road crashes.

It said an adult pedestrian has a 20-percent chance of dying after being struck by a car at 50 kph, but has a 60-percent chance of dying after being struck at 80 kph.


Image Credits: Randy S. Peregrino

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Randy is our contributing writer for motoring and journey sections. If he is not doing test drives for monthly feature stories, he finds delight in covering travel events once in a while. His passion for cars goes beyond appreciation and knowledge as he takes pleasure in fixing stuff all by himself - as long as he have the right tools. Previously, he led teams of associates in the BPO industry from several offshore companies for almost a decade. He is a proud Thomasian.