Traveling on the road must always be accompanied with safety whether you are the one driving or the passenger of the vehicle. Wearing seat-belts are very much important to avoid severe damage if an unavoidable vehicular accident happens.
During our recent trip to Batangas City, we couldn’t help notice the ease and short-travel time that we spent on the road via Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, also known as the STAR Tollway or CALABARZON Expressway, a 41.9 km. stretch that connects South Luzon Expressway in Santo Tomas, Batangas from the North point to Diversion Road in Batangas City, the South end. It took us only 1 1/2 hours to reach SM City Batangas from SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Just as how much as we want to fully appreciate the time efficiency of our travel along STAR Tollway, we also can’t help but notice the road conditions inside one of the busiest highways in the South of Luzon. It’s all over the news that the Batangas STAR Tollway was once tagged as Gateway to Death http://www.nowpublic.com/world/batangas-star-tollway-gateway-death. Aside from human errors that make vehicular accidents, here are 5 leading causes of road accidents to avoid inside the expressway that from our observation, might be the reasons why freak accidents occur in the expressway.
5 leading causes of road accidents to avoid inside the expressway
1. Rough road. Though the travel time became shorter via the STAR Tollway, rough roads withhumps and bumps will greet motorists as they drove along the famed highway. These rough road conditions contribute to uneven driving cycle for vehicular tires. It poses potential dangers to both the driver and passengers. Frequent rough roads could cause tires to wear out prematurely as it need more energy to get the right friction to move forward. And when it exerts more energy, that’s the time for the tire to wear-out. When rubbers worn-out, an unimaginable road accidents might just be bound to happen. The solution, always check your tires before hitting off the road. For the STAR Tollway management, do check out the road improvement maintenance and service regularly.
2. Stray animals. The vast and green pastures as you passed along the tollway gives a feeling of warmth country side. But why do chickens cross the roads? Not only chickens but goats, dogs, and ducks roaming in the side roads like it’s their backyards. The presence of stray animals on the road affects the driving behavior of motorists. Even futile attempts to avoid crossing animals on the road might lead to a freak accident. Tollway management must ensure that there are chicken wires from both sides to prevent animals from strolling the side roads and crossing the other side of the expressway.
3. Road lamps. Driving on daylight should be a breeze inside STAR Tollway but not when it’s nightfall. Within the long kilometer stretch of the expressway, we looked outside the vehicle’s window we were riding many times to check if there are road lamps along the road. Aside from the road signs and reflective road railing posts that are located on the main island and road sides, the only thing that we can see above the ground are the electrical cables from residential houses nearby but no road lamps to keep motorists safe from accidents during the night. Drivers can only rely on their headlights hoping they would not be blinded by another vehicle’s headlight coming from the opposite lane. The solution, a government (local or national) budget for road lamps.
4. Over-speeding. STAR Tollway is almost a perfect road express for motorists and because of that, some drivers are tempted to challenge the 100kph maximum speed inside the expressway. We have heard and seen countless news reports of fatal accidents that claimed lives due to over-speeding. The solution, always keep in mind that the minimum speed limit allowed inside the expressway is 60kph and the maximum speed is only 100kph. Focus on the permitted driving speed and not on your F1 racing skills.
5. Over-taking the one lane with two-way traffic. If a driver is over-taking another vehicle or is under the influence of alcohol, chances are, another vehicular accident might not be as far to happen, as you know it. The solution, first, it’s the driver’s responsibility to take his or her driving in the safest way as much as possible. Always remember the road safety reminders which are “Drive Carefully” and “Don’t Drink and Drive”. Do not over-take (unless in emergencies) another vehicle and always have an alternate driver in case you had few alcoholic drinks.
We published this in the light that it will help STAR Tollway Expressway improve its road to keep motorists safe from their trips and be it much more known as the safest Gateway to Southern Luzon. Have a safe trip!
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Southern Tagalog Arterial Road Expressway info
Also known as the STAR Tollway or CALABARZON Expressway, is a four-lane (from Sto. Tomas to Lipa) and two-lane (from Lipa to Balagtas) 42 km (26 mi) expressway in the Philippines. It is operated by STAR Infrastructure Development Corporation (STAR – IDC).
The expressway starts at the intersection with the Pan-Philippine Highway (also known as the Maharlika Highway) and the South Luzon Expressway in Santo Tomas, Batangas and runs southward, near Diversion Road, to Batangas City. It passes through Malvar, Batangas; Tanauan City; Lipa City; Ibaan, Batangas; and Batangas City.
The STAR Tollway I, from Santo Tomas to Lipa City, was opened in 2001; STAR Tollway II, from Lipa City to the Batangas City Port, opened in 2008. It is fully operational for all motorists. Currently, only two lanes of the Lipa-Batangas road have been constructed, and this will be expanded to four lanes once this section reaches capacity. It was opened as part of the Road Development Project of the government, linking the South Luzon Expressway to STAR Tollway onwards to the Batangas Port in Batangas City. The travel time from Manila to Batangas City became 2 hours when Stage 2 opened.
The STAR Tollway Project I and II was funded by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways – Urban Roads Project Office (DPWH – URPO).
The STAR Tollway is now under the supervision of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and it is being operated by the Star Tollway Corporation.
Toll fees are Php 25.00 near the start of the Star Tollway, and Php 65.00 at the end of Star Tollway.
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