Fighting back

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez - The Freeman

Videos of public utility vehicle drivers gone bad have gone viral in the past weeks, and have been used as evidence to point out their criminal liabilities. From drivers who verbally abuse their passengers for not giving them what they want to outright physical assaults, one even wielding a samurai sword! The LTFRB has their hands full. The agency has finally acted on a passenger jeepney caught on video recklessly swerving on a public road in broad daylight. Not only does the driver put his passengers in danger, but to other vehicles on the road as well.

The driver of this "patok" jeepney rationalizes that this is the way to attract the younger passengers who want a thrilling ride. This is probably the stupidest reasoning I have ever heard. Is he saying that he will only take young passengers? The operator's franchise has been suspended for several months, and the license of the driver in question cancelled. Rightly so, as this moron should never be allowed to get behind the wheel of any vehicle, much less a public utility one.

According to the LTFRB, taxi drivers garnered the most complaints from passengers, followed by bus drivers then jeepney drivers in 2015. The main reason for the complaints were rude and arrogant behavior, followed by recklessness on the road, and lastly overcharging. This has led to the public fighting back by way of videos and social media, where the evidence is practically indisputable. This is one instance where we have the cellphone camera to thank for.

The LTFRB has also suspended the operations of GrabBike, where one can call a motorcycle to ferry them wherever they want, in an apparent way to get around traffic much faster than a regular vehicle. But safety issues were raised. Indeed, many accidents on the road nowadays involve motorcycles, and they usually end up in serious accidents. There are statistics to prove this. According to the World Health Organization, fifty-three percent of those who perish in road accidents in the country involve motorcycle riders. That's more than half of the total deaths on the road. Something that cannot be taken lightly. So while motorcycles may indeed be a quicker way of getting around the metro, it certainly is not the safest. Something the LTFRB cannot overlook. There is also the question of some city ordinances forbidding riding-in-tandem for motorcycles, because of the spate of crimes involving such methods.

The roads have certainly become more dangerous for both the riding public and motorists. Sad to say, the majority of the accidents are caused by those who have no right operating a vehicle in the first place. From pure incompetence to outright psychotic tendencies. Just the other day, a friend told me about a man looking at his cellphone while driving a motorcycle. I just could not help but imagine him getting into a serious accident. I only wish that if an MMDA or PNP-HPG officer sees him, he gets pulled over and arrested right away. That is if the traffic enforcers can also stop looking at their own phones.













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