Freeman Cebu Business

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Back Seat Driver - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines- I was planning to write about something that had bothered me for some time as this was something that greatly affects all of us motorists.  But on my way to work, I chanced upon this scenario and found myself strongly compelled to write about it instead.

As you can see from the photo in this column, you have a Diaper Island traffic enforcer riding in tandem, with a helmetless passenger, whose scooter is actually perched on the island reserved for pedestrians.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I can see a couple of violations right there.   In the remotest of chance that someone in the legal department of Diaper Island is actually literate enough to read and understand my column, I am more than happy to list down the violations being committed by these “traffic law enforcers.”

First, let’s start with Section 3 of Republic Act  10054, the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, which reads: “Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmets. – All motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall at all times wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway.”  If you look at the penalty subscribed for such violation, first offense is a painful one thousand five hundred pesos.

Second, I’d like to point out Section 46b, Article 4 of Republic Act 4136, which reads: “Parking prohibited in specified places. – No driver shall park a vehicle, or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon a highway in any of the following places: On a crosswalk.”  Unfortunately, this violation only carries with it such a measly penalty of one hundred fifty pesos.  No wonder every brain-dead scooter and moped driver is so happy and willing to straddle and block the pedestrian lane.

There are a couple of things that really bothered me as this scenario unfolded beside me.  First is the fact that these two twits were deputized to uphold traffic laws but are the very first ones to break them.  I don’t know about you, but as a taxpayer, that’s another scenario where our tax money is being put to terrible misuse.  Second, was the fact that, as I was visibly taking snapshots of these two “traffic law enforcers,” the law-breaking, helmetless passenger actually pulled out her notebook in an effort to try to write down my plate number.  Yes, Ms. Law-Breaking, Pedestrian-Lane-Straddling Scooter Driver, I am a lip reader and I could clearly make out what you were trying to tell your passenger.  As cunning as you thought the idea was, I made sure both of you couldn’t get a clear view of my license plates.

I find it appalling that they found it their abusive right to try to jot down my plate number.  Even if they further waste taxpayers’ money and waste time searching the land transport office’s records, they won’t find a single piece of dirt connected to my clunker and myself.

Oh, and just to note, I do not find the traffic law enforcement department’s lack of funding as a reason for poor traffic law enforcement.  If they would just judiciously charge violators such as these two dits, they’d have coffers vastly overflowing that the internal revenue office will start looking their way and wonder where they got their wealth.

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