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» » » » » » » » Bus Accidents in the Philippines: Our Grim Reapers on the Streets


JR Lopez Gonzales 6:18 AM 0

The latest bus mishap in this country cost at least 19 lives and left 20 injured. Last December 16, the dreaded Don Mariano passenger bus fell off the Bonifacio Skyway near Bicutan.

Yet we had other similarly alarming bus accidents in the past few years like that of June 2010 which also claimed a lot of human lives.
I lived in Manila this summer and I have to say that having ridden on those buses, one would surely become “more spiritual” than before. In the congested streets of Manila, most of these buses drive faster than The Flash.

No wonder some people can’t seem to get hold of themselves and drive themselves mad into road rage. The Filipino highways have people behind the steering wheel cutting off lanes and disobeying traffic signage - to make a living.
I don’t even understand why some of these madmen liked to tryout for being live crash test dummies. We don’t need Paul Walker-wannabes in our roads; especially on vehicles which carry passengers.  And while these “kings of the road” weave through the thoroughfare traffic in a fuzz, ‘misadventures’ like the ones we have seen on the television would be a usual occurrence. 

Now, here comes the irony where the main tagline of the President is the “daang matuwid” (straight road). Yet this very ‘road’ is a hodgepodge of ineffective traffic enforcement, out-of-date laws, red tape and corruption. Add to that the average Pinoy’s disgust over our uniformed men.
 
We need more than barriers, traffic aides and traffic signals in order to solve these problems. Maybe the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should freeze the franchises of these erring bus lines and mete out harsher penalties.

Meeting their passenger quota as justification for their reckless driving should remain unforgivable. Perhaps it's about time to totally scrap the boundary system and have our drivers receive fixed rates. There is no proper implementation on this legislation up to now, though.

Or maybe we need anger management seminars before driving licenses are issued. That kind that makes our mustachioed men realize that the vehicle on the other side of the lane is not a slur against their manhood. And that he doesn’t need to compete with the other bus because there are no laps and our highways are not racetracks.


We need intelligent drivers for our public transport simply because lives of the passengers are literally on their hands. If they don’t know the difference between 120 kph and 80 kph; they might as well be out of the road. Someone I know even told me that his driving license ‘allowed’ him to drive a four-wheeled vehicle despite the fact that he does not have the slightest idea about cars (or any four-wheeled vehicles for that matter). Issuances of driver’s license should be strict and be based on the actual test results.

Driving on the streets is a privilege that couples with it a great responsibility. That explains why it would be a disgrace to award licenses to slapdash “drivers” who have double-digit IQs.

All drivers have to be responsible on the streets.

Our roads are not always matuwid (straight) that’s why we have to be cautious at the curves. We don’t want this country to jump off the proverbial ‘road to progress’, careening down the hills, or flying off the flyovers.




Photo Credits:

http://images.gmanews.tv/v3/webpics/v3/2013/12/320_2013_12_16_12_00_59.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qTZSBbOWrj8/UQC6oNpYnMI/AAAAAAAAD4w/Z70GAB6iE04/s1600/bus0117.jpg
http://gulfnews.com/polopoly_fs/1.669945!/image/3669862280.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_475/3669862280.jpg

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