Automation in licensing can help screen responsible drivers
MANILA, Philippines – The April 18 bus crash in Nueva Ecija that claimed the lives of at least 31 people is the latest deadly road incident in recent months. (READ: IN NUMBERS: Road crashes in the Philippines)
To prevent more road crashes from happening, what can government agencies do?
For Jason Salvador, former spokesperson of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and now the manager of a global road safety project of the Ateneo School of Government, automating processes in regulatory agencies is needed to help ensure road safety standards are met and followed.
In the case of the LTO, which oversees the issuance of drivers’ licenses, automating this process can weed out unfit drivers.
“If you automate everything, then you would eliminate the possibility of [missing out on] something, especially in the issuance of license or the permits to operate a vehicle,” he said in a Rappler Talk interview on Thursday, April 20.
“Lives are lost here, so they should be stricter in issuing permits, especially to drivers,” he added.
Salvador explained that there are several contributing factors behind the cause of a road crash, including the conditions of the road, the vehicle, and the driver.
To operate a public utility vehicle, a driver must have a professional driver’s license. To get this, he must have passed a practical exam and possess either a valid non-professional driver’s license or student permit.
But Salvador acknowledges that there are still problems in the process of acquiring driver’s licenses at the LTO, notorious for the many fixers that offer applicants an easier way to get a license for a fee. (READ: Corruption at LTO, LTFRB: Unfit drivers, vehicles on the road)
Salvador said streamlining the process and automation can curb this problem, because it would take out the discretionary factor among employees screening driver’s license applicants.
“You automate, so that you don’t give a certain employee or certain group of people the authority to pass or fail anyone who wants to secure a license,” he said.
“If you eliminate this, you automate this, then you can be rest assured that only all those who are qualified will get to be given a driver’s license,” he added. – Rappler.com