Editorial: Poverty is not a license to violate laws-A A +A
Monday, June 25, 2012
THE past days have been abuzz with the crackdown on the notorious payong-payong and trisiboats along major thoroughfares.
As always, the affected residents are appealing to the good graces of the city, claiming they have lost their source of income because of the massive confiscation of these unregistered and illegal public vehicles.
Payong-payongs and trisiboats provide convenience for residents of inner city streets and subdivision, no doubt about it. But only in their communities. They are a great source of inconvenience to the motoring public as they hog the highways and are not above going counter-flow against the traffic at that; filling up these tiny vehicles with up to 15 schoolchildren, unmindful of the dangers they pose to these children. It is high time indeed that government crack down on them because of their sheer disregard for traffic laws.
First, most of these are not registered. Second, most of these do not have franchise.
But because these have been tolerated for so long, the drivers, most of whom do not also have driver’s licenses, have taken over major thoroughfares even after repeated reminders, through the years, that they are not allowed to drive on major thoroughfares.
There are traffic laws and road courtesy necessary to be in place to maintain a modicum of order in our city streets, but a certain sector of society are trying to do away with this while brandishing their being poor for their utter disregard for these laws.
It?s good that finally, the city gathered the will to just say no.
There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to violate laws, not even being poor.
“Maayo gani wala mi nangawat (It’s good that we haven’t resorted to killing),” is but an overused excuse that should not be allowed to pass, just because the poor have the greater voting power.
There are privileges and there are rights. Driving is a privilege reserved only for those who have committed to follow traffic laws and observe road courtesy. As it is, there are thousands who are already being discourteous on the road, but the fact that they are licensed and their vehicles registered means they can be held accountable for their malfeasance. That is the very reason for licenses and franchises, for regulation.
The drivers of all these other vehicles that earn from the public but are not under any regulation cannot be held accountable, but the mere fact that they are illegal means they should not even be on the streets. For humanitarian reason, they have been allowed to ferry passengers around in their communities, now they want to take over the whole city as well. That simply cannot be allowed. No ifs and buts about it. Suffice it to say, they should be thankful that they have been allowed to move around their communities even if these should not even be allowed in communities simply because they do not have any franchise, registration, and license. But, as said, for humanitarian reason, okay. But one thing should be made clear: they have no right to demand more because beyond these communities are laws and regulations that should apply to all and people who are equally entitled to the convenience of well-regulated public and private vehicles.
You want to use public roads? Go get a license, have your vehicle registered, and yes, get a franchise to operate. That is how it must be.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 26, 2012.