Traffic Logic
- Lester Dizon () - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has formed a Road Safety Management Team (RSMT) to study ways to improve road safety, traffic flow and traffic law enforcement. Spearheaded by Assistant Secretary Dante Lantin, the RSMT is comprised of committees composed of representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Health (DOH), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Education (DepEd), and other concerned government agencies and safety organizations like Safe Kids Foundation and Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC).

Yours truly was invited to join the DOTC RSMT upon the recommendation of Arnel Doria, the General Manager of HSDC and I opted to join one of the committees tasked with crafting road safety and traffic education for children. Mr. Doria recommended that I also join the other committees, specifically the ones tackling traffic laws and enforcement, but I declined because I felt that I might only end up feeling frustrated. You see, I’m beginning to believe that instilling traffic discipline among the current crop of road users has become hopeless unless there are major changes in the infrastructure, the traffic enforcement agencies and the road users in general.

To prove my point, let me apply some basic High School Geometry, the logical process that tackles theorems, proofs and conclusions. A basic example of logical reasoning using Euclidean Geometry is this series of sentences: All vegetables are good for your health. Broccoli is a vegetable. Therefore, broccoli is good for your health. Simple, isn’t it? Okay, let’s apply it to some basic traffic laws, rules and regulations.

Republic Act 8750 is a law that requires drivers and front seat passengers of private and public vehicles to wear seatbelts. Most drivers and front seat passengers of jeepneys do not wear seatbelts. Therefore, most drivers and front seat passengers of jeepneys are law breakers.

Section 22F of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that vehicles with no or defective headlights constitute a traffic violation. Many jeepney and tricycle drivers do not turn their headlights on when they drive at night or they have defective headlights. Therefore, many jeepney and tricycle drivers are traffic violators.

Sections 22G and 22J of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that it is a traffic violation to have defective brake lights, tail lights and signal lights. The brake lights, tail lights and signal lights of many public utility vehicles (PUV) on the road are defective. Therefore, many PUV drivers are traffic violators.

Section 54E of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that disregarding traffic lights and traffic signs constitute a violation. Many PUV drivers wantonly disregard traffic lights by crossing intersections on a red light and wantonly disregard traffic signs that say “No Loading / Unloading” and other basic traffic signs. Therefore, many PUV drivers are wanton traffic violators.

It is unlawful to drive a vehicle without license plates. Many FX drivers still ply their routes even when their rear license plates were confiscated for other violations. Therefore, many FX drivers who still ply their routes even when their rear license plates were confiscated for other violations are law breakers.

Section 68B of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that driving against the flow of traffic it is a serious traffic violation. Many tricycle drivers and motorcyclists drive against the flow of traffic. Therefore, many tricycle drivers and motorcyclists are serious traffic violators.

Section 22H of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations requires motor vehicles to have red rear tail lights. The aftermarket rear tail lights of some motorcycles and automobiles are not red. Therefore, the aftermarket rear tail lights of some motorcycles and automobiles do not comply with the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations. Or some aftermarket rear tail lights are illegal.

Section 54F of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations requires motorcyclists to wear helmets when riding motorcycles. Some motorcyclists, including police and MMDA traffic enforcers, do not wear helmets when they ride. Therefore, some motorcyclists, including police and MMDA traffic enforcers, violate LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued an Executive Order that bans the use of sirens and flashing red lights by unauthorized vehicles. There are still many private vehicles, including those of senators, congressmen, government officials and even lower-ranking officials and aides who use sirens and flashing red lights to cut their way through traffic. Therefore, many private vehicle owners, including senators, congressmen, government officials and even lower-ranking officials and aides disregard the Executive Order issued by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. (Either that or they simply do not want to follow her…)

Section 68Z of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that obstructing the flow of traffic is a moving violation. Many jeepney drivers along T. de Leon Road in Valenzuela City obstruct the flow of traffic by slowly “trawling” the road for passengers. Therefore, many jeepney drivers along T. de Leon Road are traffic violators.

Section 68V of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that failure to give proper braking or turning signals is a traffic violation. Most PUV drivers weave in and out of lanes to pick up or unload passengers without giving proper braking or turning signals. Therefore, many PUV drivers are traffic violators.

Section 68Z of the LTO Traffic Rules and Regulations states that obstructing the flow of traffic is a moving violation. Many driving school instructors teach their student while driving slowly in the middle or fast lane, which obstructs the flow of traffic. Therefore, many driving school instructors are traffic violators.

International Traffic Laws mandate sizes, shapes and colors for traffic signs. The MMDA utilizes traffic signs that do not conform to International Traffic Laws. Therefore, the MMDA does not follow International Traffic Laws. (Either that or Chairman BF is simply hard-headed…)

Astute traffic enforcers can easily spot many of these traffic violations. Many of these traffic violations continue unabated. Therefore, there are no more astute traffic enforcers, only the blind, deaf, and dumb remain.

A lot of drivers nowadays do not follow the traffic rules and regulations. Not following the traffic rules and regulations is unsafe and stupid. Therefore, a lot of drivers nowadays are unsafe and stupid.

I could think of many more logical observations and conclusions that pertain to the violation and travesty of all known traffic laws, but I don’t want you, dear readers, to feel as frustrated as I do. I firmly believe that teaching youngsters, who are the next generation of road users, about the proper way of using and sharing the roads is one way to eradicate the chaos that our roads are turning into.

But if the adults, whom these youngsters emulate, wantonly violate traffic rules and regulations without considering the negative influence they have on the next generation, it will be very hard indeed to lead the next generation of road users into the correct path. I just hope the team members of the DOTC RSMT committee tackling traffic laws and enforcement are serious in doing their part. Otherwise, there will be no logic behind this worthwhile endeavor and everything will be all for naught.

Here are some of your Backseat Driver reactions from last week’s Highway Robbery by James Deakin…

“Highway Robbery” is an apt title considering that is what the PNCC and its partners on NLEX and SLEX can be said to be engaged in now that the PNCC no longer has a valid legislative franchise to collect highway tolls. Under our Penal Code and P.D. 532, collecting highway tolls without legal authority falls under the crime of “brigandage” or “highway robbery”. The PNCC’s legislative franchise, granted under P.D. 1113, expired in 2007. While the PNCC is challenging the expiration before the Supreme Court, nothing in our current system of laws allows them to continue collecting tolls while the challenge is being made. Even the American Chamber of Commerce refused to endorse the PNCC’s appeal for a franchise extension in a letter posted on the Internet. Without a valid PNCC franchise, PNCC partners on NLEX and SLEX are also collecting toll illegally. – darjeeling

As a regular E-Pass user, here are some tips, 1) arrange auto debit to credit card to avoid the hassle of reloading. 2) call the hotline once a month to receive fax of statement of account. 3) In the SOA, just check the entry and exit points for each day if they tally; otherwise call the hotline so that they can reverse. However, I think that they should send the statement of account by mail automatically, together with the Official Receipts. You have to go to their office in Bicutan just to get the OR. – edison97

This article really makes my blood boil. Among the things I hate is poor customer service. When you’re getting their product, they’re so pleasant and very quick to accept your money… but time for refunds/complaints….it’s the 1994 Blues Traveler song “Run Around” that I remember “ It goes like this… “Why you wanna give me a run-around? Is it a surefire way to speed things up when all it does is slow me down?” – smoothe

We also appreciate your comments on the ups and downs of this season’s Formula 1 campaign but due to space limitations, we had to leave it posted at philstar.com instead for all our readers to see… Keep ’em coming just the same!

We have a new service provider for your text comments. To register, text philstar <space> name, gender, birthdate, address and send to 2256 (all networks). Once registered, you can post your text comments to Backseat Driver by texting philstar <space> motoring <space> your message, and send to 2256 (all networks). Of course, you may still log on to www.philstar.com and blog your comments.

DRIVERS LIGHTS LTO MANY REGULATIONS ROAD RULES THEREFORE TRAFFIC TRAFFIC RULES AND REGULATIONS
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