A lawmaker has called on Congress to pass bill providing all traffic lights with audible signals to help persons with disabilities, seniors and pregnant pedestrians.
In filing House Bill 4140, Rep. Lorna Velasco of Ang Mata ay Alagaan Partylist said the installation of audible traffic signals will also help ensure self-reliance among persons with disabilities, senior citizens and pregnant women.
HB 4140 or the "Person With Disability, Elderly and Pregnant Woman Pedestrians' Welfare Act of 2014" has been referred to the Committee on Public Order and Safety.
"The audible traffic signal will provide information about the status and relative position of pedestrian light signals while the push button will give more time to persons with disabilities, the elderly and pregnant women to cross intersections," Velasco said in a statement.
"The absence of device in traffic lights that will assist them in crossing pedestrian lanes places them and others, especially motorists, in danger. This makes it a matter of public concern," Velasco said.
Under the bill, all traffic lights will be provided with audible traffic signals and push buttons to make it more convenient for persons with disabilities to cross streets.
Whenever activated by a pedestrian crossing an intersection, the push button will set off a countdown timer in the traffic light to give him enough time to cross the road.
Velasco said the proposal is consistent with the mandate of Republic Act 7277 otherwise known as the "Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. "
"Persons with disabilities are part of the Philippine society, thus the State shall give full support to the improvement of the total well-being of disabled persons and their integration into the mainstream of society," Velasco said.
Velasco added that the State declares to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, older people and pregnant women to live a normal life, as far as practicable, by formulating, establishing and implementing policies that empower and make them self-reliant.
"An audible traffic signal includes two speakers at the end of a crosswalk and a control section. The control section navigates a person crossing by simultaneously emitting sounds as in back and forth call operation from the two speakers disposed at the two ends of the crosswalk for a period during which crossing is permitted," Velasco explained.