Freeman Cebu Business


ARE WE THERE YET - Back Seat Driver - The Freeman

This word, painted black on a signage in big, bold letters, are they words you read as you approach the old bridge that links Diaper Island to the wannabe Kapitolyo City.  I guess it would not come as a surprise that motorists jockey two to three wide to get to the single lane bridge ahead of the rest.  The entire signage is supposed to read “Observe Single Lane,” but the last two words, just like the entire “No Stopping Anytime” signage posted about fifty meters prior to this, have faded into obscurity.

Due to the lack of diligence by the traffic organization, whose acronym can also be interpreted as “Cannot Take Matters Seriously,” the signage, that should have put order where there is chaos, is just as effective as reading glasses is to a totally-blind man.  I mean, as a motorist, what are you supposed to do when the only word intelligible on the entire signage is “Observe?”  Are you to stop, park your motor vehicle to the side, and observe?  But you cannot do this because your intention is to cross the bridge.  And secondly, you are not allowed to stop and park because there is, well, a badly faded No Stopping Anytime signage that would prevent you from stopping, let alone parking.  No wonder there is unending confusion.

But this situation is not unique in the jurisdiction of the enforcers who do not take matters seriously.  The previously mentioned ‘No Stopping Anytime’ signage is actually where these dingbat public utility drivers stop to pick-up illiterate commuters who wait for their ride in that spot.  But do the, supposedly, traffic law enforcers reprimand the drivers or inform the commuters?  Not even if their lives depended on it.

I’ve also noticed that traffic laws on this humorless island lose their validity after 10:00 p.m.  A signage that clearly reads “No Entry” loses effectivity once the clock strikes ten.  Every and all motorists coming from the north who intend to go to the city agora no longer take the proper detour.  What was once a one-way southbound road during the day, turns into a dangerous two-way road at night.  I guess these island-dwelling motorists figured that, since their friendly neighborhood policemen ignore the signage and risks the safety of the people they’re sworn to protect by driving into a No Entry zone, they have every right to do the same.

In a way, the word ‘Observe’ speaks volumes of the traffic law enforcement on this island.  For that is the only thing the traffic enforcers do; observe.  Nevermind that the traffic builds up by allowing motorists to create multiple lanes into a single lane bridge, as long as they, the traffic enforcers, are not the ones having to grin and bear with the situation, they couldn’t care less.  If they refute this and say that they do care, how come no alternatives have been presented to decongest traffic and resolve this problem? 

The answer is simple: misplace priorities.  Instead of allocating a huge budget to ensure road safety by purchasing paint to improve the visibility of road signage and road markings, that budget has gone instead to painting the entire city with all the colors of the rainbow.  As the traffic situation and traffic law enforcement get worse, all we motorists can ever do is observe.

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