The real menace on the road
I was in the car with my 12-year-old son one night recently, inching to a halt as the traffic light flashed yellow at an intersection along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City.
When it switched to green moments later, the jeepneys in front of us simply ignored the light, apparently tarrying and stalling for more passengers. No amount of honking could make them move forward.
Having no choice thus, I maneuvered the car toward the left in an effort to get past those “pasaway” drivers when, out of nowhere, another jeepney came hurtling from the left, smashed the car’s side mirror and made pretzels out of its fender and hood.
That kind of impact can only be due to the solid steel front bumper usually built into those killing machines!
Luckily, we sustained no serious physical injuries. It could have been a lot worse had I been able to move the car just inches more out of that tight spot.
I did not see it coming: The overspeeding jeepney had no headlights or any light that I might have caught a glimpse of in the side mirror.
I tried to give chase, but the car conked out on me. The runaway jeepney just vanished into the usual jumble of jeepneys clogging up the road ahead. It was only about 8 o’clock and raining just a bit. As usual, traffic enforcers were not to be found anywhere.
Isn’t this major public menace obvious to our traffic management authorities?
But they are always quick to attribute the utter helter-skelter in our streets to the sheer volume of private vehicles competing for space with thousands of “Jurassic” jeepneys, whose recalcitrant drivers continue to claim “historic right of way” anywhere they happen to be — just as their “big brothers” (buses) do along Edsa.
To the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority: Stop scapegoating and penalizing private car owners for your helplessness in stopping the utter lawlessness of jeepney and bus drivers!
GRACE PO-QUICHO, firstname.lastname@example.org
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