Slow Down: Others Make Mistakes

Road Safety: Other People Make Mistakes

You should watch this video. There are a number of “jokes” about speed driving. Some say they’re not driving fast, they’re simply flying low. Some say drivers who drive slow get overtaken by accidents. But no matter how speed thrills, we cannot deny the fact that, as noted by the New Zealand Transport Agency, “the faster you go the less time you have to react, the longer it takes to stop and the bigger the mess when you do stop. But people still deny this truth or think it doesn’t apply to them.” There is a new road safety campaign by the New Zealand Transport Agency specifically targeted to speed, which is a major contributor in serious injury crashes. Here:

It’s a powerful video. In this side of the universe, this is called defensive driving, a skill apparently learned by Filipinos the moment we are born. But no matter how careful we drive (and it’s not limited to the speed), regardless of our expertise in defensive driving, accidents still happen because there are other people on the road. Other drivers can be reckless, simply negligent, the victim of car defects, or plain idiots who somehow got a license.

Just yesterday, news headlines singled out the unsafe road maneuvers of a Safeway bus, treating EDSA like an obstacle course in an amusement park. The bus company said that the driver has already been terminated. The newscaster said, and correctly it seems, that the driver will simply move to another bus company (makes me wonder if bus companies have a database in common with the LTO/LTFRB, which contains a list of bus drivers dismissed for cause, with a penalty on any company hiring any of those drivers unless the ban is lifted by the LTO/LTFRB).

It’s really a puzzle why road discipline is a problem in the Philippines. Filipinos follow the rules when driving in, say, Singapore. Filipino drivers follow the rules when in Subic. Perhaps somebody can help explain why there’s a breakdown of traffic order in Metro Manila streets. This should be interesting. In the meantime, drive carefully — other people make mistakes.

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