Calls for Helmet Law mount anew

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Calls for Helmet Law mount anew

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The call for implementation of the Helmet Law mounts again after the recent death of a woman in a road accident.

Authorities are also challenged to investigate the spate of accidents involving passenger buses, especially the Southern Star Bus.

The Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) noted a decrease in number of traffic-related incidents from July to August record.

The record shows that traffic-related homicide decreased from 10 to seven, while those resulting to damage to property also decreased from 69 to 66, and those resulting to physical injury decreased from 136 to 117.

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On Sunday afternoon, October 2, a 23-year-old woman on the backseat of a Mio scooter died after an accident in Carmen.

The victim, Ann Mae Taldo, a resident of Brgy. Bicao, Carmen, died on the spot. Her 18-year-old brother, Andrew, who was driving the scooter and her 26-year old sister, Annabelle, who was also on the backseat were in critical condition.

PO2 Ghee Ilaw of the Carmen police station, said they were travelling from Sierra-Bullones at 80 kilometer per hour.

They tried to overtake another motorcycle along the national road in barangay Katipunan when their scooter suddenly wobbled, causing the driver to lose control and the vehicle to eventually crash.

The three of them, without helmets on, were thrown to different directions.

 The worst accident occurred at on January 9, 2015 where a Southern Star bus ripped a 40-year-old woman with intestines sprawling on the road in barangay Comambugan, Ubay.

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Her legs dislocated and head almost cut off, the victim died on the spot.

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The victim was driving a motorcycle along the national highway of the barangay on her way home to San Pascual, Ubay when a stray dog suddenly crossed.

The motorcycle swerved after hitting the dog and the speeding Southern Star passenger bus heading for Alicia town behind her tried to overtake at the left side, but instead dragged her and the motorcycle several meters from the point of impact.

Early morning on September 16, a certain Marianito Bael, a resident of barangay Taloto in Tagbilaran City, was rushed to the hospital for treatment of the bruises and some cuts he sustained after an accident while driving his motorcycle near the cockpit along CPG North Ave. when he avoided a stray dog.

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On September 8, a man driving a motorcycle died after being hit by a Southern Star bus in barangay San Pascual, Ubay.

In April this year, a man driving a motorcycle was hit by a Dory bus in Can-upao, Jagna.

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After a hiatus since April, the call to investigate passenger buses came anew after another Southern Star bus figured in an accident early morning on September 8 along the national road in Garcia-Hernandez.

 As the bus landed on its side on a ricefield off road, three women suffered minor injuries while the rest of the passengers got out of the bus unharmed.

 The Land Transportation Office in Tagbilaran had earlier assured to initiate action by reporting road accidents involving passenger buses to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

This was in response to LTFRB’s claim that only one of the number of successive accidents involving Southern Star buses in the past was reported to them.          

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan had also earlier expressed that the police should do the reporting to the LTFRB also.

In October last year, the SP conducted an investigation on the series of accidents involving the Southern Star Bus Transit.

In March this year, another unit of the Southern Star Bus Transit figured in a road accident, killing two passengers and injuring 11 persons—including the driver.

     On April 6, another Southern Star bus figured in an accident in Sitio Mahayahay, barangay Buenasuerte in Pilar, hurting 11 passengers on a trip from Tagbilaran City to Ubay.

In January last year, Southern Star buses figured in three accidents in one week, including the incident in Ubay where the woman’s body was ripped.

HELMET LAW

The Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the PNP had already announced the resumption of the implementation of the Helmet Law in the light of the number of accidents involving motorcycles where, in most cases, the drivers without helmets, died.

In Tagbilaran City, the HPG hesitated at first because of the ordinance prohibiting full-face helmets or any material that covers the face in public places.

Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap had explained to the HPG that the ordinance only allows law enforcers to flag down motorists wearing any material that covers their identity.

It is only intended to know the identity of the motorist and not to penalize for wearing full-face helmet.

The city ordinance was intended to curb the spate of killings involving riding in tandem.

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