ATOK, Benguet – Mayor Franklin Smith urged motorists traveling along the Baguio-Bontoc Road otherwise known as the Halsema highway to always observe and practice defensive driving to be able to safely reach their desired destinations.
He said that it has been observed that there are certain parts of the day where some portions of the road experience foggy scenarios that even worsen to zero visibility for several hours which is considered to be dangerous to motorists, especially drivers who drive along the Halsema highway for the first time, to avoid the occurrence of untoward incidents that may pose a serious threat to life and limb.
Further, Smith claimed that the advisory is also for tourists who will be traveling along the said road in going to and from their desired destinations inside and outside the Cordillera because they might be surprised on the prevailing conditions once fog starts to cover their view of the road and the sceneries along the way.
For those regular motorists plying the said road, the local chief executive advised them to avoid being reckless so as not to compromise the overall safety of other motorists who observe and practice defensive driving while en route to their places of destination.
“Everyone should be concerned of their safety when traveling along the Halsema highway that is why we want to reiterate that motorists should always observe and practice defensive driving when passing through our roads. We do not want residents and visitors to be involved in unnecessary incidents that caused by reckless drivers. We should always uphold road safety at all times whether we are the drivers or simply passengers of our vehicles,” Mayor Smith stressed.
According to him, what is good about the situation is that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through the efforts of Rep. Eric Yap worked out the installation of solar studs along strategic portions of the Halsema highway to serve as guide for the drivers for them to be able to ensure that they are in the appropriate lane when traveling during foggy situations, especially in the late afternoon and early morning, in going to their desired places of destination.
He reminded that motorists can happen anytime and at the spur of the moment that is why it is still best for them to ensure that their motor vehicles are in good running condition and the dr4ivers have enough rest to avoid the occurrence of vehicular accidents that will eventually compromise the safety of limb and limb not only for them but also for those that will be involved in such incidents.
The mayor emphasized that local officials and police authorities can simply provide the necessary reminders for motorists to observe and practice defensive driving but the overall safety of motorists relies on the drivers themselves who are holding the wheel as accidents can happen right there and then.
Halsema highway is the gateway to the Cordillera from Baguio traversing several towns of northern Benguet, up to Bontoc, Mountain Province and straddles up to Banaue, Ifugao.
Smith also reminded motorists not to unscrupulously dump their waste along portions of the road to avoid causing eye sore which might affect the solid waste management programs of local governments that host portions of the main road leading to the different parts of the central Cordillera.