Discipline indeed promotes national progress
Discipline for national progress was the mantra of the New Society, the branding used to camouflage martial law 43 years ago. But has the Filipino instilled this foundational requirement for national progress? Sadly, the answer is no.
Let’s look at the traffic situation. Driving is an excellent example of discipline because the driver controls his decisions. Let’s focus on 2 decisions drivers face every day that can ease traffic congestion: staying on his lane and not counter-flowing; and stopping outside the yellow box at intersections.
The internet is rife with videos of counter-flowing vehicles. And you see a mix of vehicle types, from tricycles, to buses, taxis and SUVs, showing that lack of discipline cuts across the strata of society.
Why do drivers counter-flow? Is it a sense of entitlement that they think their time is more valuable than others? Or is it because they know that motorists in the proper lane will let them pass?
The video of the bus driver (Rainbow Express TXF-713) counter-flowing and his passengers expressing audacious outrage at the motorist who blocked their path reflects all the wrong reasons why drivers counter-flow. The bus driver and his passengers were running late so they felt they had the right to counter-flow. But instead of a motorist moving out of his way, he met one who stood his ground. Thus the shameless indignation of the bus driver and passengers caught on video.
manga Ma'am/Sir bago ko na video yan super bilis nang pasok nya sa lane ko ang sakin lang safety nang pa salubong sakanya and isipin nyo nalang kung friends nyo or family nyo ung tumatawid, kaya ginawa ko ung video para makatulong din sa lahat, nakakalungkot lang para sa manga pasahero ako pa may kasalanan Hindi nila alam buhay nila kapalit din kung may mangyari sa pag counterflow nila, rules are rules gusto natin magbago pero magtulungan din tayo lahat **sorry sa BAD WORDS** nagulat lang ako gusto rin nya ako pa huli Hahahah tinuturo pa ako ⯑**sa sounds ko pala! Sarap pa nang kanta ko eh Hahaha ganyan Lang ako ka chill kase mag drive kanina JUST ONCE lang naman ako magganyanPosted by Kirstoff Guinto on Sunday, January 29, 2017
If the bus driver and passengers were exposed and not protected by the anonymous enclosure of the bus, would they have acted the same way? When queuing at a jeepney stop, will they brazenly jump the queue?
Worse than counter-flowing is stopping inside the yellow box and blocking intersections. Doing this does not gain any significant distance anyway. And this selfish yet minimally beneficial decision clogs the intersection and inconveniences other motorists.
Traffic offenders pulled over to the side of the road do not really help because their vehicles still occupy precious space while traffic violation receipts are being issued. This also encourages negotiations to take place.
A solution I propose is to equip traffic enforcers with heavy-duty paper punchers. For drivers that counter-flow or stop inside yellow boxes, a hole is punched in their licenses. It takes a few minutes for the enforcer to do this as no TVRs are issued. And since this is done in full view of the other irate motorists, instant karma on errant drivers provides catharsis and cools down tempers.
When he renews his license, he is fined 5K for every hole. The best part of this is when he shows his ID upon entering buildings, his cheddar-like license is a testimony to his lack of discipline.
Staying on your lane and not blocking intersections are easy manifestation of discipline that can go a long way to ease traffic congestion. All of us can contribute directly in lessening the estimated 2.4B economic loss daily from traffic jams. Discipline indeed promotes national progress.
I am patiently waiting at an intersection and when the traffic light finally turns green, vehicles are blocking my way in the yellow box. And no matter how hard I honk my horn, the motorists are oblivious of the inconvenience they are causing.
Blocking the intersection is the worst display of Filipino drivers’ lack of discipline. Stopping inside the yellow box does not even provide any significant gains for the offending motorist since he is just a few meters farther than if he stopped outside the yellow box. And this selfish yet minimally beneficial behaviour causes so much nuisance to other motorists.