More traffic enforcers needed

THAT DOES IT - The Freeman

If a foreigner were to drive the streets of Metro Manila, he would be shocked to see how we all manage to drive the way we do and not have many road rage incidents. Indeed, there are many YouTube videos of Americans engaging in road rage simply by being overtaken on the freeway or city street. Brake checks are the norm but there are incidents where full-on confrontations occur, some ending up in a deadly exchange. Putting myself in the foreigner’s shoes, it is easy to understand his shock and amazement.

Let’s face it. Filipinos are generally more tolerant of bad drivers unless the infraction or the action borders the unacceptable. One example is counterflowing where it is not allowed. Again, dashcam videos of vehicles --a car, motorcycle, tricycle, or even the e-trike-- counterflowing even with visible concrete barriers. And while the violation is captured on a dashcam, you hardly see a traffic enforcer intervening and citing the offender.

Another common infraction is the ignoring of the yellow box. A yellow box on the road means vehicles should not stop inside them to keep an intersection open or to keep the road clear for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances. This is so simple to follow and yet some just do not have any cerebral function to stay out of the boxes. Again, you hardly see a traffic enforcer citing those who violate the yellow box. The problem lies in the fact enforcers normally man the large intersections, where traffic lights are already present. As if they just wait for one who runs a red light so they can issue a citation, or cash in if you know what I mean. If traffic rules and regulations are not strictly enforced, then you will have that one violator who will either trigger road rage or will just laugh at the fact he could get away with it.

There is a need for more traffic enforcers manning key intersections all over Metro Manila and not just the major ones such as intersections along EDSA. Filipinos also have the attitude of “if I can get away with it, I’ll do it.” This is seen by those vehicles running a red light just because there are no enforcers or other vehicles around. As for road rage, I would inform the foreigner that we do have incidents of road rage, perhaps not that much compared to the US. And some have ended up deadly. But thankfully, these would be the exceptions rather than the norm.

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