Editorial: Nip ‘em in the bud

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


THERE’S a group of young boys who has found a dangerous and road rage-inducing game over at Matina along the MacArthur Highway right in front of McDonald’s, in the middle of the road.

The center island with its steel railings designed to prevent pedestrians from crossing has become a playground of this group of boys who are unmindful that they are already playing tag right on the road. Worse, they run and climb up the rails to tumble to the other side, unmindful that they are already causing undue anxiety to motorists, especially the drivers who are taken by surprise by the sight of a boy or even boys tumbling over the steel railings.

They’re boys, all right, they are expectedly rambunctious especially when at play. But a center island with heavy traffic is not a playground.

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At the start of this school year, it was announced that house Bill 4160 authored by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Party List, Abante Mindanao), seek to include road courtesy, discipline and traffic safety education in the school curriculum, from Grade 1 to 4th year high school.

Rodriguez said the law seeks to educate students early in life on the importance of road courtesy, discipline, and obedience to traffic laws because of the growing number of traffic accidents in the country “which can be attributed mainly to the sheer disregard of traffic laws or ignorance."

The game these boys are playing almost every afternoon over in Matina is more than sheer disregard of traffic laws, it is impudence that is unfairly playing with the life and liberties of motorists. We know for a fact that even if a driver is not at fault, when the vehicle he is driving causes injury or death, then he is the one arrested, jailed, made to raise bail, and sued. This is because of what? This is because of the sheer audacity of a group of misguided boys who are playing with fate, but only because we and the authorities have allowed them to do so.

We’re sure these boys didn’t immediately become as audacious as they are now. They must have started just racing against vehicles on the sidewalk, then ventured on to run right on the road. Now, they are making the steel railings into some sort of a giant hurdle to jump and catapult across. All this because no traffic enforcer has shooed them away early on.

Knowing that they can get away with it, and knowing that they are unduly aggravating drivers and motorists, they have found their kind of fix. Will we wait around until one boy is hit and one poor driver has to spend time behind bars until proven innocent? We say, get those boys out of the center islands as soon as possible and make sure they stay away, forever. While the authorities are at it, haul off their parents for a million and one hours of bawling out.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 23, 2014.

Opinion

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