Monday, May 23, 2016

Special Traffic Courts: One Key to a Disciplined Society

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had won on a platform centering on peace and order.  In many of the programs that he had stated, the common denominator is DISCIPLINE.  This early however, there are already those who are voicing contrary opinions:  the call center people questioning the after-midnight liquor ban, the smokers the smoking ban, and the Bumbays the ban on 5-6!  I have my opinions on these matters but let me start with a suggestion that I believe is one of the basic building blocks of an orderly society:  Traffic Courts.

In two articles last year, I pointed out that traffic is one of the manifestations of our culture of palusot.  This is because very few people really feel the burden of penalty in violating the law because traffic cases are treated the same as the other cases in our already overloaded courts.  They take years to resolve!  Coupled with uneducated drivers who obtain a driver’s license without passing through the correct process especially the driver’s education, the result is chaos in our streets where these ignorant drivers insist they are right even though they are very wrong.  They actually thought they were right because of ignorance of the basic rules.  They are ignorant of the basic rules because they did not pass through the correct process of obtaining a drivers license and simply BRIBED their way through the LTO!  Here is a couple of illustrations based on my personal experiences:

How many times did you find yourself in the situation of the yellow car where you had already crossed the inner lane while turning left but the cars in the outer lanes just continued along blocking you—including those cars who were so far from the intersection just like the red car?  Once, I nearly went into a fight with the “red car” because I insisted on going ahead because he was so far out and even though he ACCELERATED, I was still able to complete the turn albeit a near collision resulted.  In this case, galit pa ang driver ng pulang kotse!

In this second scenario, how may times did you witness a motorbike overtaking on the right, squeezing himself between the gutter and the car on the outer lane and in the process hitting a left turning car head on?  I had seen several of these and in many instances, the motorbike rider is even the one getting angry!  Such assholes!

These are two of the common illustrations that underpin the importance of the traffic courts.  In many instances, these incidents are resolved by who has the more menacing voice, the more belligerent tone, or on the more extreme cases the higher caliber of gun!  This does not bode well for order that Duterte promises.  What we need right now is a court that will dispatch of traffic cases referred to it and mete out penalties immediately if only to educate the drivers involved.  If the LTO fails to educate the drivers because of corrupt practices, then let these drivers learn the rules the hard way—through punishment in a judicial decision!

Or do we need the DDS solution?