Show the world our national discipline by following traffic regulations.
This is what Automobile Association Philippines Vice President and Road Safety Committee Chairman Johnny Angeles urged to motorists as he noted the prediction of an American Chamber of Commerce executive that in four years, Metro Manila will become unlivable because of the chaotic traffic on its roads.
“The traffic situation on our national roads is what visitors and tourists from other countries see,” Angeles said. “By doing what is right when driving, even when no one is watching and not just what is convenient for us, we can prove that we are a disciplined people and gain respect as a nation.”
“The Philippines already has enough laws to create and maintain order on our roads,” he added. “For example, we have Republic Act [RA] 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which is the bible of Philippine road laws. But it is not followed by many motor vehicle owners, drivers and public transportation operators alike.”
Angeles pointed out as an example that according to Article 2 of RA 4136, the “driver shall ‘pass at a safe distance to the left’ and ‘shall not again drive to the right side until safety clear of such overtaken vehicle.’”
“Drivers who have been overtaken shall provide ample lane to ‘permit such overtaking or passing to be made in safety.’ The rule also states that no overtaking shall be made at any railway grade crossing or any intersection of highways unless such is controlled by a traffic signal or by a watchman,” he said.
Aside from this violation, Angeles observed that many tend to disregard the “No-Parking Zones” as stated in the law, such as in or near an intersection, a private driveway, or near curb lines of intersections, among others. “Not only is disobeying this rule illegal, it is also dangerous as it elevates the chances of road collisions,” AAP’s road safety committee head averred.
He also noticed that some public-utility vehicle (PUV) drivers look shoddy and untidy. “They don’t seem to have a high regard for their occupation as reflected by their sloppy appearance. In other countries in the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region and beyond, PUV drivers are neatly dressed, even wearing shirt sleeves and a tie.”
The AAP vice president upholds a law that is currently being questioned regarding the illegal modification of motor vehicles.
Section 34 of RA 4136 is being blatantly flouted, Angeles claimed. “Up to now, many motorists are still using a ‘horn or signaling devise emitting an exceptionally loud, startling, or disagreeable sound’, or headlights that are not ‘white or yellowish visible in the front.’”
“Instead, these lawbreakers place ‘red lights’ visible forward or ahead of the vehicle and replace factory mufflers with those that emit ‘unnecessary or disagreeable odor, smoke or noise’ —all these for so-called aesthetic purposes,” he said.
“In line with this, may we call on the motoring public to show that Filipinos are disciplined and responsible citizens who obey traffic rules and regulations. We have to keep in mind that as members of the civil society, we can be part of the pending solutions to the problems in our country, especially when it comes to the traffic crisis. This is a community problem. Let us all pitch in for love of country,” Angeles concluded. www.aap.org.ph