Road Courtesy #Hugot

Vera Lynn Catan

As I was writing this article, I was striving to draft it in Filipino to send my message clearly across all audience. Yet, as a bisaya my written Filipino is really awkward that I settle on continuing in English instead to express myself properly.

My message for this week is neither new nor a product of in-depth reflection; on the contrary, let’s talk about practical, life-saving issue that in the big picture will help our society progress.

Have you watched a trending video entitled “Respect Other’s Journey” that demonstrates video clips on how pedestrians are almost sideswept by motorists? The video ended with a grotesque death of an old man slammed by a running car. In general, the video appeals to drivers to drive carefully to avoid hurting pedestrians. Somehow it has an ugly, blur depiction of “well-off” people in posh, shiny cars inconsiderate of others walking along the streets.

It took me 3 years to finally force myself to drive, mostly because just observing the traffic flow as a passenger already stressed me so much to the point hysteria. Finally when I began to adopt driving as automatic as a muscle reflex, I realized that the stress lies more to drivers—responsible drivers, that is. So today I want to give emphasis to my personal observations.

#Hugot 1: Crossing the street is not a walk in the Park.
Please, people, if you are crossing the street, be as quick as you can, especially in areas where there are no traffic lights that goes red and green. It builds up congestion whenever a pedestrian treats the busy street as her/his catwalk.

I would like to special mention people in groups, high school students in mobs, dilly-dallying on streets. Please give your school a break and behave even just a little bit especially when you’re wearing your complete uniform.

#Hugot 2: You cannot walk in 3s side by side.
Especially in our narrow, two-way lanes, please be mindful of your place in the street. Pedestrian goes to sidewalk. That’s why it’s called sidewalk. Avoid walking in twos, threes and (can you believe it!) fours, side by side, eating up half a lane! This is pure common sense! Its as if you are intentionally barricading a running vehicle because you know that the driver will stop and yield, otherwise you will be hit, and then it will be the fault of the person behind the wheel. Yes, the person in that posh, shiny car is always the bad guy, and the poor pedestrian is always the victim. Iwas abala sa kapwa.

#Hugot 3: Mind your parking.
You cannot stop anytime you want and park anywhere you want. How inconsiderate is that! Tricycles, multicabs, and yes, even taxi (calling out Toyota Taxi Service!) stop at mid traffic to pick-up or drop passenger. Tabi-tabi rin kung may time. Don’t give the government a good reason to fully and firmly implement the no-tricycle policy along national highways.

Calling our Traffic Management Group, please roam around the business areas within the City and do something about huge vehicles and even trucks parking at streets, eating full lane. It’s as if there is no effective authority taking control of our streets.

I am really pondering at taking a picture and posting in Facebook and other platforms people that are so outrageously ill-mannered in streets, both as pedestrians and drivers. Can you feel the heavy traffic along Rizal Avenue going to San Pedro? Half of the problem is because of undisciplined people at streets.

As a general observation, it is the young ones that lack more the basic road etiquettes. Maybe these are no longer taught in homes and schools? It is as if in this super age where information and knowledge are never been this big and accessible, it is manners and respect that we begin to lose.

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