FOR at least two hours, the flow of traffic on the Banilad-Talamban road was stalled yesterday after a 10-wheeler truck carrying a cargo container got stuck under the skywalk near a university and a mall in the area.
Slow movement of vehicles was recorded because of the incident, which was reported to the traffic office at 10:45 a.m., said Ronnie Nadera, radio operator of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).
It took them more than an hour or around noon to remove the truck, but disruption of the traffic flow lasted for several minutes even if the area was already cleared.
“It really caused congestion in the area, considering that even without accidents, Bantal area is already a concern for us when it comes to traffic flow. Volume of vehicles is really heavy every day,” Nadera said.
There are no traffic signs though, that will warn drivers of the vertical clearance of the skywalk.
Nadera said those who responded had to release some air from the tires of the truck, so it can pass below the skywalk.
Because of the traffic congestion it caused, Nadera said a traffic citation for road obstruction was issued against the driver.
Yesterday’s incident was just one of the many road accidents recorded in the city every day.
In a news conference, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the number of road accidents in the city everyday is already alarming.
As earlier reported, records from CCTO showed that in the last two days of September, a total of 119 vehicular accidents happened in the city.
Because of it, Osmeña plans to increase the fines being imposed by the traffic group to those who violate traffic rules of the city.
Traffic accidents, the mayor said, are a direct result of not driving properly, that’s why higher penalties will be collected to remind drivers to drive safely.
Osmeña said he already tasked someone to draft the amendment of City Ordinance (CO) 801 or the Traffic Code, so the City can collect higher fines.
CCTO now is only collecting a P500 fine for reckless driving and violation of no left turn, no right turn, no u-turn, wrong execution of left turn, no execution of right turn, unsafe backing maneuver and obstruction of road, among others policies.
The plan to collect higher penalties and the continuing education on traffic policy, road discipline and courtesy for drivers are just short-term solutions that the City is doing to address the traffic concerns.
The National Government, for its part, has been planning to improve the infrastructure in different areas of the country, including Cebu, to improve the traffic situation and as a short-term solution to road congestion.