‘Wistful thinking’ about law enforcers
ONE RECENT Sunday night, I was with my husband driving home on Aurora Boulevard, toward Marikina City from a dinner party in Cubao, Quezon City, when a jeepney in front of us suddenly stopped without going to the shoulder of the road to load up more passengers. We did not see any brake lights to warn us. It had no taillights either. My husband swerved to the left to avoid hitting the passengers. Just about then, another jeepney overtook us and its solid steel front bumper ripped through the left door and front fender of our car! We didn’t see it coming. Its headlights were off. It didn’t stop. We were unable to read anything on its dirty plate as it drove away fast and disappeared in the midst of more jeepneys clogging the street.
To be sure, this has been the common complaint of many motorists in Metro Manila. Why are so many jeepney drivers not turning their headlights on at night? To prolong the usefulness of their dying batteries? To make their route signages on the front windshields more readable to passengers along the road who might miss them against the glare of their headlights? Are those legal excuses for noncompliance with traffic rules? Are those legal justifications for the damage they cause to life and property? Why are our traffic enforcers blind to this real threat to public safety? How much higher up are those on the take to just look the other way?
To Secretary Arthur Tugade, the new traffic czar and top honcho of the Department of Transportation and Communications: Please, sir, ask President Duterte kung pwede na rin ba naming pagbabarilin itong mga pasaway na (if we can also already shoot undisciplined) jeepney drivers before they kill somebody else? In this country, relying on law enforcers to do their job has really become wistful thinking!
—MARITES DELA MERCED, [email protected]
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