Thursday, June 21, 2012

Safety is a priority amid rash of motorcycle accidents

By Monico D. Mekaniko

The number of road accidents involving motorbikes continues to grow for the last six years. According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in Metro Manila alone an average of 120,000 accidents per year are reported, but a steadily growing number of accidents related to motorcycles have nearly doubled from 9.4 percent (11,475) in 2005 to 14.6 percent (20,518) in 2011.

One of the more prominent motorbike rider associations, Safe-T-Ryders, has been conducting bikers meet-ups in key cities in Metro Manila. Their goal is to encourage riders to follow rules to improve their safety on the road. The group is also promoting awareness among the public on motorcycles as a safe means of transportation.

Safe-T-Ryders Founder Arnel Doria said the motorcycle continues to be a preferred mode of private transportation especially for those who travel long distances. Citing a 2010 LTO statistic, Doria said there are already 3.5 million motorcycles as of this year, comprising 52 percent of 6.6 million registered vehicles in the Philippines.

During the same year, 80 percent of all newly registered vehicles were motorcycles or tricycles. This amounts to 900,000 such motorcycles out of 1.1 million vehicles for that year.

He said that accidents would continue to rise along with the growth of vehicle sales in the Philippines unless riders practice road safety and discipline. Doria emphasized that the Bikers Club Meet-Ups will be held regularly to improve the number of responsible riders in the country.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!