Playing Frogger

ARE WE THERE YET? - Back Seat Driver (The Freeman) - January 26, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - To those who were using gaming consoles that needed cartridges instead of compact discs, chances are you’ve played this game before. To those who haven’t, let me explain to you the object of the game.  As the player, your objective is to direct frogs to their homes one by one.  To achieve this, each frog must avoid cars while crossing a busy road and a river full of obstacles. 

Oddly enough, if you replace the frogs with people, this scenario eerily reflects today’s road situation.  Despite the presence of Anti-Jaywalking Ordinances, you have pedestrians darting across the street despite the presence of crosswalks a mere ten to twenty meters away.  And the lamest excuse they would come up with is, “it’s too far!”  Well, not that I condone jaywalking but, there is another reason why these pedestrians cross anywhere and not on crosswalks.

This reason is because of many motorist’s blatant violation of Chapter 4, Article 4, Section 46-b of Republic Act (R.A.) 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code).  This particular section reads, “No driver shall park a vehicle, or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon a highway in any of the following places: (b) On a crosswalk.”

We have seen this many, many times over.  We dutifully follow the markings on the road and stop short of the white line, which is painted a meter away from the crosswalk, to wait for the light to turn green.  While the seconds tick by, some inconsiderate twit, who got his driver’s education from an illiterate organism, weaves his way into the front and ‘parks’ his vehicle on the crosswalk. 

Sometimes it could be one of those tactless demon in white taxi cabs. But more often than not, it would be those brain-dead scooter and moped drivers.  Not only do they blatantly break the “No Lane-Splitting” Law by snaking their way to the front of the queue, they also violate the said law stated above.  And because they clog up the pedestrian lane by the buffoonish presence, pedestrians could no longer take advantage of their five-meter safe haven to cross the street.  That’s why they end up playing Frogger, and we end up sharpening our reflexes as we try to avoid running over these hapless pedestrians.

So, to our dear traffic heads who are concerned about their organization’s empty coffers, you will actually make a fortune if you have your traffic enforcers start apprehending these law-breaking, pedestrian lane-blocking nitwits.  Not only will you fill your coffers, you will also help return the pedestrian lane back to the pedestrian and allow them to safely cross the road.  For the sake of the pedestrians, I hope it won’t be a cold day in hell before we actually see the implementation and tough enforcement of this law. 

Then again, I have also seen my fair share of law and traffic enforcers break this law.  I guess I’ll just dust off my gaming console and wait for hell to freeze over.


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