Traffic light counters
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - February 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CCTV caught on video the collision between a public bus and jeepney at the corner of EDSA-Timog Avenue The jeepney tipped over, after which its passengers started coming out, visibly hurt and shaken by the accident.

The bus suffered little damage. I doubt if any of the passengers aboard were hurt. Probably just jarred by the collision. According to the jeepney driver, he was trying to beat the yellow light. According to the public bus driver, the light was green, so he went ahead.

From those statements alone, you can tell who was at fault. For those who are familiar with the corner of EDSA and Timog Ave., it's a long way to get to either to Timog Avenue or East Avenue. Once the light turns yellow, it's unlikely you will reach the other side in time, as vehicles on EDSA will have started moving after their green light.

This is why there are now counters at major intersections, just like in other countries. I first saw counters in Singapore, and I thought it would be a good idea if we had the same in the Philippines.

The counters serve to warn drivers that a yellow light is coming up, followed by a red light, advising drivers to start stopping if they might not make it to the other side in time. It is that simple. But as expected, public utility vehicles along with motorcycles ignore the counters and often continue to cross intersections at their peril.

This is why I have been saying all along that there are many who do not belong behind the wheel of a vehicle, if simple rules such as this one cannot even be followed. Public utility vehicle drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers, who have no control over the vehicles they ride in. Fortunately, no one died in this particular accident.

As such, the MMDA should be stricter on vehicles still trying to cross, especially at wide intersections. Drivers should not be complacent just because their lights have turned green. There are still those, let’s say it, stupid drivers who will try to cross regardless. Traffic enforcers must always be present.

They may allow vehicles, if they are in a good mood, to stay in the middle of intersections in case a red light cut them off, as long as they do not obstruct traffic. But if there are those who still ignore these counters and continue crossing intersections, they must be immediately arrested, and their licenses suspended for a few weeks or even a few months. If they cannot understand or ignore what these counters are for, then they do not belong on the road.

It is bad enough as it is.

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