REMEMBER the days of "Hapsay Dalan" in the early 1990s when everyone landed in the police station for crossing streets where crossing is not allowed? Those days will be back soon, especially when residents will disregard the warning of the Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO).
The CTTMO on Tuesday, November 22, started distributing slips of paper announcing that starting December 1, they will be arresting violators of the Anti-Jaywalking Ordinance.
"Manakop gayod mi. Mo-focus ta didto sa atong mga pedestrian overpass (We will definitely arrest them. We will focus on the sites where there are pedestrian overpasses)," CTTMO Chief Rhodelio Poliquit said in a phone interview with SunStar SuperBalita.
For starters, pedestrians must use the pedestrian overpasses at Matina Crossing, McArthur Highway near the University of Mindanao (UM-Matina Campus), Bankerohan, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Lanang, and the flyover in Agdao, Davao City.
The law against jaywalking is in City Ordinance 778 also known as the Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Code of Davao City.
According to Poliquit, those who will be caught violating the ordinance will face a penalty of four-hour community service and a fine of P200.
“We are still finalizing and reviewing the other sanctions under this ordinance,” Poliquit said.
Traffic law enforcement was strictest in the early when the program Hapsay Dalan was in full force. Yellow boxes were designated as loading and unloading areas and any driver who does not follow this is penalized.
Pedestrians, too, can only cross on pedestrian lanes or pedestrian overpasses. But implementation has since slackened and public utility drivers have lost the habit of loading and unloading only in yellow boxes and pedestrians cross the street wherever they want to, even right below overpasses.
As a result, traffic gets even more congested. Faced with a worsening traffic situation, the City Government has revived the implementation of these simple traffic laws. Just last November 15, the City Planning and Development Office started its experimental scheme of allowing passenger loading and unloading only on designated stops along A. Pichon Street or Magallanes Street.
The scheme is intended to train commuters to only wait in designated stops and not expect public utility vehicles (PUVs) to stop wherever they decide to wait.
Next to have designated stops are Gaisano Mall of Davao along J.P. Laurel Avenue (Bajada), Abreeza Ayala Mall, and NCCC Mall in Matina.
"Motuman lang ta, kay kaayohan ni nato, aron malikay ta sa disgrasya (Let's just obey the law, this is for our own good. It will reduce the risk of accidents)," Poliquit said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 23, 2016.
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