Did you know that Metro Manila holds a record of about 10 bus accidents per day? Maybe not all of them are fatal, but let’s face it, large hauler trucks and public utility buses (PUB) running way past the speed limit (overspeeding) can kill and you probably won’t be happy to hear when the driver involved unanimously blame faulty brake system, especially if you are the one on the receiving end of the fatal accident.
It may not seem well known to many, but there is already an existing law on mandatory installation of speed limiters, which control the speed and make strange, irritating noise upon reaching maximum speed limit, on trucks and buses in the Philippines—the Republic Act (RA) No. 10916, also known as the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016.
What is RA 10916?
Republic Act (RA) No. 10916 is also known as the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016. It is an act that mandates the installation of a specific type of speed limiter on both public utility vehicles and other type of covered motor vehicle like closed van, hauler or cargo trailer, PUV, shuttle service, tanker truck, and such other vehicles as determined and defined by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for purposes of implementing RA No. 10916.
The Road Speed Limiter Act also introduced the use of speed limiters in public transport vehicles in an effort to promote and maintain at all times the safety and protection of the riding public. By installing this device, it is possible to electronically control the top speed of a vehicle, either to comply with government legislation or to the vehicle owner’s requirements, without affecting any other aspect of the vehicle’s operation, resulting in better handling and lesser road crashes and accidents.
Provisions of RA 10916
The Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016 also includes specific provisions regarding speed limiter devices to limit the top speed of a vehicle using a mechanical or electronic or a mecha-tronic combination communication system.
These provisions include:
Mandatory Installation of Speed Limiter
According to the provisions of RA 10916, no covered vehicle shall be allowed to run in any road, street or highway in the Philippines without a standard speed limiter designed in accordance with the standards and specifications approved by the DOTr.
No Speed Limiter, No Registration
Also included under the provisions of this law is the clause that prohibits covered vehicles from being registered by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) or given a franchise by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) without the standard speed limiter installed and set in the vehicle.
Setting of Standard
The DOTr is expected to determine the specifications of the speed limiters that may be allowed to be installed in the covered vehicles , in accordance with acceptable international standards. The LTO or the LTFRB will then supervise and inspect the setting of speed limiter corresponding to the maximum allowed in the route plied by the covered vehicle.
According to the provisions of the law, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the primary agency in charge of accrediting persons, establishments or institutions involved in producing, manufacturing, or distributing speed limiters in the specifications and standards set by the DOTr. For this purpose, the DTI will issue necessary certifications to attest to the compliance with such specifications and standards as a prerequisite for registration.
Implementing Agencies, Rules, and Regulations
The implementation of this law will be overseen and managed by the following agencies:
- Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
Fines and Penalties
Like any other law, the violation of Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016 (RA 10916) will entail fines and penalties as described below:
- The driver who operates or the owner or operator who allows such driver to operate a motor vehicle without the required speed limiter will be fined in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000.00).
- The same fine amounting to fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000.00) will also be imposed upon the driver, owner, or operator who operates or allows a person to operate a motor vehicle with a nonfunctioning or tampered speed limiter.
- In addition to the fines, a suspension of the driver’s license for a period of one (1) month or franchise of a motor vehicle for a period of three (3) months, will be imposed upon the offender who commits the above-mentioned violations for the first time.
- For the commission of any of the prohibited acts as described by the law for the second time, the driver’s license of the offender shall be suspended for a period of three (3) months or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of six (6) months in addition to the fines imposed.
- For the subsequent commission of any violation of RA 10916, the driver’s license of the offender shall be revoked or the franchise of a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of one (1) year in addition to the fines imposed.
- Any person who is found guilty of tampering with the speed limiter will be slapped with a penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than three (3) years and a fine of thirty thousand pesos (₱30,000.00).
Note: The LTO fines and penalties described herein shall be applied without prejudice to criminal prosecution or civil action under existing applicable laws.
Video: Understanding the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016 (RA 10916)
To understand the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016 (RA 10916) better, you may check out this explainer video from Pulis ng Panginoon:
The mandatory use of speed limiter by virtue of the Road Speed Limiter Act of 2016 (RA 10916) is something that has been around for many years. Unfortunately, it seems like it isn’t something that a lot of people know about. Considering the number of fatal road accidents involving these vehicles in the country, one may be left wondering what the relevant authorities are doing, too. After all, the Road Speed Limiter Act is supposed to work as a proactive and preventive measure to regulate the speed of large covered vehicles and public utility vehicles and reduce the incidence of fatal accidents on the local roads.