No one can argue that the Anti-Distracted Driving Act is essential to having a safe road for everyone. But after a few days of its implementation, several Filipinos have reported some grey areas that authorities themselves are confused about. What constitutes distracted driving? No one seems to know for sure.
Of course this is not our first rodeo. Here we look back at past laws and ordinances the MMDA had a hard time enforcing:
Jeepneys. Most of these modified public utility vehicles are not equipped to accommodate a seatbelt. In fact, that would be the last thing jeepney designers would be bothered with in crafting these age-old cultural touchstones. Which begs the question: Are jeepney drivers exempted from this law?
Bright lights from electronic billboards
Although there are no laws and ordinances regarding these, we feel that there ought to be. Blinding billboards are in our line of sight. Oftentimes, they blind us because our streets are not well lit, and the LEDs from these billboards are the primary source of light. It can cause accidents, particularly when someone decides to cross the street. Or when counterflowing pedicabs/tricycles/ambulance/politicos suddenly appear. And it makes us ask: In case of an accident, who’s at fault here?
A while back, the MMDA thought it would ease traffic if buses and PUJ’s were given exclusive use of lanes along EDSA. Well it did not take long before the authorities decided they would no longer be strict about it. Besides, if buses swerve along lanes for private cars, shouldn’t they be held liable as well?
Loading and Unloading
A lot of times, when we find ourselves bogged down in traffic, we find at the end of the congestion jeepneys or buses loading and/or unloading passengers in the middle of the road. Yes, it is against the law. What makes this even more baffling is that there are, more often than not, enforcers to be found at these sites. But they would be a few blocks away from the scene; one can’t be blamed for thinking they were deliberately avoiding the actual cause of traffic.
Most of our secondary roads are convenient alternate routes to our destination. But here’s what local drivers know to be true: you cannot drive along the rightmost lane. Why? Because you will eventually find yourself in front of an illegally parked vehicle. Yes, there is a law against it, and in fairness to our officials, they are enforcing it. But along East Avenue, on your way to EDSA from Quezon City circle, you will find illegally parked vehicles. The kicker? These are vehicles bound for inspection in nearby LTFRB/LTO offices.
Disregarding traffic signs
Ever since we were kids, we are taught that certain things are universal: the sky is up, the ground is down, and red means stop. But tell that to drivers in the metropolis, who blatantly disregard traffic signals and drive through red lights. Of course, pedestrians are equally guilty, often powering through the ‘Don’t Walk’ signals. And you say you want to have nice things.
As soon as this law was enforced, guess who were the most frequent violators? And it’s not like they were apprehended, either.
We encounter counterflowing vehicles on a daily basis, and that’s enough to make us wonder if a law against it truly exists. I mean, if this happens on a daily basis, surely our officials would have already been alerted to this, right? And if in case someone from any of the concerned agencies are reading this, pedicab drivers counterflow routinely along North Avenue from Agham Road in Quezon City (We can hope.)
Any other we missed? Tell us about them below!