FROM February 6 to 17, the Davao City Police Office Traffic Group (DCPO-TG) apprehended 3,172 violators of various traffic rules like driving under the influence of alcohol, not wearing a helmet, and going beyond the speed limit, among others.
If you average it per day, that is 264 traffic violators per day! Those are just the violators that were caught during DCPO-TG's campaign against unsafe driving, which was launched on February 6.
Around the city, when the traffic authorities are not watching, a lot of drivers continue to disregard traffic rules. For some unexplainable reason drivers of both private vehicles and public utility vehicles continue to break traffic rules.
There are still drivers who speed up when nearing the pedestrian lane; others beating the red light; there are those who park in places where they should not park; PUVs stopping and allowing passengers to get down in areas where it is not allowed; and some motorcycle drivers still continue to drive without a helmet.
For a city that has been known for its discipline, many drivers here lack any sort of discipline on the road.
Some may say the traffic rules are too much. However, they have to understand these traffic rules are there to protect them and the pedestrians. If we allow people to drive motorcycles without any helmet, accidents met by motorcycle drivers would be very gruesome.
We have seen road accidents happen. Many road accidents happen because the drivers are not following the traffic rules. Driving too fast on areas where you are not allowed to will really get you in an accident.
Shame on those drivers too who use their influence or bribe traffic enforcers to escape getting apprehended. It is therefore a welcome to hear the warning of Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) head Retired Major General Benito de Leon that traffic enforcers taking bribes or being corrupt will face charges once they are found guilty.
Traffic enforcers, whether they are from the city or DCPO, must not allow an environment where those in power are allowed to get away from the law.
With the campaign against unsafe driving of the DCPO-TG, we hope that more undisciplined Dabawenyo drivers will be apprehended and taught a lesson. There are a lot of vehicle owners who have to understand that they do not own the road if they own an expensive car.
In 2011, Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, drove an armored personnel carrier over illegally parked cars. Let's not reach that point in Davao City. A disciplined Davao City also needs disciplined drivers.