IRF Provides 2-Day Executive Seminar on Safer Roads By Design™ to Philippine Officials

philipinesOn November 8 and 9, 2012, IRF conducted an Executive Seminar Series on Safer Roads By Design™ in Manila, Philippines. The seminar was well attended with important decision-makers from across the Philippines. Lead instructor and facilitator Michael Dreznes stated, “The discussions and roundtables sessions were lively and very informative. He continued, “the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was an excellent host and IRF is thankful for use of their facility.” Mr. Dreznes concluded, “the training seminar could not have happened without the support of the sponsors who included Trinity Highway Products, Hill & Smith, Transpo Industries, and Barrier Systems.”

The seminar Manila focused on roadside safety and work zone safety. The presenters and the attendees discussed at length how some of these concepts could be implemented in the Philippines to meet the challenge of the Decade of Action to reduce road fatalities by 50% by 2020. Some of the roadside safety concepts that were discussed included:

  • The need to develop national design guidelines (aashto roadside design guide)
  • The need to start to use the irf mandate that roadside safety hardware meets european or us test criteria
  • Requiring the proper and appropriate use of tested longitudinal barriers, including the use of cable barrier
  • Increasing the use of crash cushions
  • Requiring the use transitions between different classifications of roadside barriers
  • Requiring the use of crashworthy terminals (end turned down ends)
  • Using creative methods to identify funding sources, including private industry, such as mcdonalds designing a pedestrian crosswalk that looked like french fries
  • Implementing the recommendations made for the irap demonstration projects

Some of the concepts discussed for Work Zone Safety included:

  • The neeed to develop a national workzone guidelines (MUTCD)
  • Requiring that workzones have positive protection for motorists and workers through the use of portable steel or concrete portable longitudinal barriers
  • Requiring the use of crash cushions on the ends of longitudinal barriers in work zones
  • Requiring the use of truck mounted attenuators (tma) to protect motorists from the back ends of work zone trucks
  • Allowing the use of trailer tmas and/or trailers of all types for contractors
  • Starting to use the rollahead charts to protect workers in front of work zone trucks
  • Developing an inspection procedure to ensure work zones are safe before they are opened
  • Providing proper training for flaggers and ultimately starting to use state of the art technologies to eliminate the use of flaggers
  • Doubling the penalties for speeding and/or talking on a mobile phone in work zones and school zones

One of the presenters was Greg Smith from the international Road Assessment Program (iRAP).
iRAP recently competed a significant assessment of the roads in the Philippines and a series of demonstration programs to implement the corrective actions was proposed. He, the IRF and the sponsors encouraged the attendees to follow up these demonstration project recommendations from iRAP and to take the steps to show the effectiveness of proactive measures to make the roads safer in the Philippines.

At the closing ceremony, a certificate program was conducted whereby the Honorable Rogelio L. Singson, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), presented those attendees who successfully completed the program with an IRF Certificate.

IRF President Patrick Sankey noted that the attendees took an important step toward road safety in Manila by attending the IRF Executive Seminar; and that the knowledge gained and introduction to experts in the field, will prepare them for the road safety marathon ahead. Dreznes conclude, “They know that once they leave the seminar they must continue to prepare for the marathon by continuing to move forward. They will need to change some attitudes to meet the commitment to the Decade of Action and they will have to fight for road safety,” concluded Dreznes.

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