SETTING and enforcing national speed limits is an important step in slowing down motor vehicles and saving lives, according to the World Health Organization. The good news is that the WHO considers the country’s speed limit law “good.”

What is a good urban speed law? The WHO used the following criteria to assess legislation on speed: the speed limit set by law in urban areas is 50 kilometers per hour; local authorities have the power to modify national speed limits.

The Philippines meets both criteria. Therefore, it is considered to have a good speed law.

The bad news is that the law is poorly enforced: The Philippines gave itself a five out of 10 rating in the enforcement of speed limits across the country in the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015. The rating came from eight road safety experts in the Philippines.

Poor enforcement of the national speed limit law has contributed to the growing number of road crashes in the country.

The WHO groups the Philippines into the low- and middle-income countries. About half of all the road crashes in these countries is due to speed, estimates the agency. — D.L.C. Dayao

Source: Data from the Philippine National Police