THE recent shooting incident in Cebu City involving a son of a businessman and a nurse can be categorized as another road rage case because it was sparked by a traffic altercation.
We still do not know the complete story because the suspect, David Lim Jr., is in hiding and only the victim, Ephraim Nuñal, has been able to tell his story. But what exactly caused Lim to shoot Nuñal, whether it was because of the exchange of words or Lim had a personal problem, is not as important as the fact that it happened while both were negotiating traffic.
Nuñal claimed the altercation happened after Lim and his companion, who were in a dark Mercedes Benz vehicle, stopped in the center of the road, prompting him to honk and ask Lim to clear the way. Lim then got off from his car and kicked the victim’s vehicle, a white Toyota Altis. That alone had the marking of a road rage case.
A non-profit organization in the United States working to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research and educating the public found that potentially aggressive actions are a factor in up to 56 percent of fatal crashes in the US and, in extreme cases, may spark road rage, which it described as “a violent criminal act involving an intention to cause physical harm.”
While road rage can be considered a rare occurrence even in the Philippines, the acts that lead to it are present as drivers negotiate the traffic daily. This is more so in the country where anarchy often rules the streets and where many drivers either deliberately ignore traffic rules and regulations or are simply ignorant of these. In this sense, road rage looms large here.
That is why if government agencies like the Land Transportation Office (LTO) or concerned offices of local government units could not straighten out the traffic in their jurisdictions, then they should be aggressive in conducting information or education drives that would lessen traffic altercations and road rage incidents.
There are a number of literature on that that they can use. It’s just a matter of giving it the needed attention.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 21, 2017.
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