Chicken or the Egg

ARE WE THERE YET? - Backseat Driver (The Freeman) - November 17, 2013 - 12:00am

Having been busy watching, reading and listening to news reports regarding the situation of our fellow Filipinos who suffered the wrath of the super typhoon, I could not but help think about the age old argument of the chicken and the egg.  For those who aren’t familiar with this, the bone of contention is about which came into existence first, is it the chicken or the egg.  The reason why I related the argument to the whole situation is the ongoing finger-pointing blame game that the national and local government are playing.

One may ask, what has the government’s bungling got to do with motoring?  A lot, actually.  You can also directly relate it to the chicken or the egg argument.

Think of all the peeves you have about the way motorists maneuver their vehicles on the road.  From taking left turns on no left turn roads to driving against the flow of traffic, have you ever wondered what may have caused people to develop bad driving habits?

Now, think of the different traffic rules and regulations that were drafted then amended to help police people’s bad driving habits.  Were these laws drafted because people refused to govern themselves?  Or were these rules created prior to motorists developing bad driving habits?  Unless one was present prior to the drafting of Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) in 1964, we can only speculate as to which is which.  So, is this the whole argument regarding the chicken or the egg?  Actually, no.  There is a possible third element which may be the actual cause of the chicken or the egg argument. 

The third element has been glaringly magnified in the news lately; the ineptitude of the people who are responsible for keeping the peace and tasked to enforce the law.  How many times have you seen law enforcers look the other way when they prefer not to apprehend an erring driver especially if the vehicle seems to belong to someone of influence?  Or, how many times have you seen law enforcers intentionally break the law themselves when they don’t wear seatbelts when driving or ride on a scoter in tandem without wearing any helmet at all?

Did many motorists, upon seeing the enforcers total lack of ability to do their jobs, decide to rewrite existing traffic laws to suit their needs?  Or, did these motorists already have bad habits to begin with and the total lack of traffic law enforcement only encouraged them to continue their reckless and dangerous ways?

One can only speculate as to which came first.  But what one can draw a solid conclusion from, is that individuals who develop a habit of neglecting their duties and responsibilities learned those habits from someone in a higher position whose responsibilities are greater and whose actions many people’s lives depend upon.  Their inability to police their ranks, enforce the law and heed the needs of the motorists is very reflective of what is currently happening.

And I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter which came first.  I’d rather egg the chicken for the piss-poor job he’s done and hope the chicken crosses the street and pray that some reckless driver run him over.

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