Monday, May 20, 2019

Y-Speak: Motorists, stop!

DAVAO. Pedestrians naturally use the pedestrian lane to safely cross the road. (Contributed photo)

“PEDESTRIANS: Use the crosswalk, jaywalking kills” read the tarpaulin by the anti-jaywalking unit of Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) hanged at the San Pedro street.

The signage is one of CTTMO’s efforts in reminding jaywalkers after they announced in November last year that they would be arresting violators of the Anti-Jaywalking Ordinance.

Pedestrians who were caught crossing the street anywhere without using crosswalks or overpasses were issued with citation tickets and faced a four-hour community service penalty and a fine of P200.

Since then, crosswalks and overpasses have been packed with pedestrians following the ordinance.

But, is it really safe to use crosswalks?

By definition, pedestrian lanes, pedestrian crossings, or crosswalks are designated areas for pedestrians to cross a street, road, or avenue where motorists must stop to let them pass.

It is basically a place for people walking along a road to confidently and safely use in order to reach the other side.

Safety is the purpose. Unfortunately, many motorists seem to be unaware of it.

Although, some motorists give way to pedestrians, still many boost their speed seemingly competing with pedestrians, keeping the road for themselves.

In fact, I have traumatic experiences with pedestrian crossings. I nearly got into accident twice while crossing the pedestrian lane.

My first near miss accident was with a motorcycle that bolted its way even on the crosswalk with me on it. And just recently by a jeepney who had no regard of the city’s speed limit.

What is more concerning is the way motorists handle such situation. Instead of apologizing, they either speed their way out or blame the pedestrian.

With hundreds to thousands of Dabawenyos using the pedestrian crossing everyday, I am certain that this experience does not limit to me.

Motorists must stop and give way to pedestrians. They must be re-informed as how pedestrian lanes work. For until everyone learns to obey rules, even the safest place is no safe at all. (By Mary Rose de Jesus, UM intern)


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