ARE WE THERE YET? - Back Seat Driver (The Freeman) - June 23, 2014 - 12:00am

While the entire public transportation group declared a nationwide strike last Thursday, I was revelling in the thought of a having one full day of road freedom.  Only during Pacman’s fights could we enjoy hassle free roads as everyone, including public utility drivers, would stay glued to the tv for hours to cheer for the Pambansang Kamao while secretly placing a bet on his opponent, you know, just in case.  I had hoped that this day would be the same.  I was happily disappointed when the roads were still packed with public utility vehicles.  It meant that not all of them were dumb enough to join the strike.

A few public transport groups, the smart ones, decided against joining the nationwide strike because they saw no logical reason for it.  The rest of the public transport groups were up in arms when the national transport office decided to increase violation fines to astronomical heights.  These plankton-minded public transport groups were protesting the fact that, with their ‘meager’ income, they can no longer afford to pay traffic violation fines. 

The question that comes to mind is, why are they worried about the fines?  Almost everyone who gets behind the wheel of any vehicle, public or private, is subject to the same fines.  But you don’t hear the private sector complaining.  The only reason why the public transport group is upset is because they are topnotchers in racking up traffic violations.  I know of many people, including myself, who have been driving for more than twenty years and haven’t a single traffic citation to our names.  Why?  Because we follow the easy-to-understand traffic laws.  On the flipside, I have seen my fair share of reckless, drugged-up public utility drivers parked to the side, scratching their heads, and begging for mercy from equally-witless traffic enforcers after they committed their nth violation for the day. 

If you ask me, raise the fine of the most basic of traffic violations to a million pesos and increase the rest proportionately.  Honestly, it’s not about the fines.  It’s about their tendency and preference to break the law.  It is high time they feel the real pinch of how painful it can be to violate traffic laws.  But then, they claim that these exorbitant fines would lead to more graft and corruption because some public utility drivers would rather bribe their way out of their violation to avoid the hefty fines.  Again, we go back to the fact that these simpletons still believe that, either way, it is the fault of the national transport office.  They even claim that being ordinary human beings, they are prone to making mistakes.  These people must’ve been dropped on their heads as babies for they fail to realize that everyone else is as human as they are and can make mistakes.  They only difference is, the rest of us choose not to intentionally break the law.

A friend of mine mentioned in his social media page that, due to the strike, he was one of the many fortunate commuters who were able to take advantage of the air-conditioned buses that the government deployed to assist those who got stranded because of the public transport strike.  He mentioned that, if this going to be how it will feel like once the BRT’s would be implemented, it would be more comfortable and easier to go around.

So, to the public transport organizations who are looking to threaten the government each time they think that their freedom to violate traffic laws is being curtailed, go ahead and stage another strike.  That would greatly help the people decide and vote for the implementation of the BRT.  And you guys would’ve struck out on your gamble to steal home base.


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