SO, THE Land Transportation Office (LTO 7) has launched its “one time, big time” operation against illegally parked vehicles along the national highway of N. Bacalso Ave. last Friday, apprehending some 94 violators. The violators, mostly motorcycle owners, were issued temporary operator’s permit (TOPs), which carry a heavy penalty.
LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec said his personnel confiscated the violators’ driver’s license and issued them tickets for reckless driving for violating Article 5, Section 48 of Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. He clarified that the violation was not for obstruction. If any of the violators want to complain, they can raise the matter before the court.
The provision states that “No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway recklessly or without caution, considering the width, traffic, grades, crossing, curvatures, visibility and other conditions of the highway and conditions of the atmosphere and weather, or so as to endanger the property or the safety or rights of any person or so as to cause excessive or unreasonable damage to the highway.” Take note, under this provision, there is no mention of obstruction.
Caindec said some might question their action on why his personnel charged the violators with reckless driving when they just parked their vehicles along the road. Caindec argued that the vehicles did not get there if these were not driven in the first place.
I don’t know if this story has same logic in Caindec’s reasoning. This happened in Saudi Arabia. A Saudi Arabian national was driving his car. He hit a Filipino worker. He got mad and cursed the OFW saying, “You, Filipino, if you did not come here in Saudi Arabia, I would have not bumped you.”
The other Saturday, Caindec was one of the guests of DYSS anchor Lloyd Suarez in his program “Dialogue on the air,” in which they discussed the traffic situation in Cebu and the campaign against illegally parked vehicles. Caindec warned the public that if some remain hardheaded, he will order his men to burn the vehicles. I don’t know if that was a serious threat or warning or just said in jest.
Whether it was a serious warning or said in jest, but with his statement that “those who want to complain on why they charged violators with reckless driving” should “just go to court,” only shows Caindec’s arrogance. Why should LTO charge violators with reckless driving when the apprehended vehicles were just parked there and left unattended by the driver or the owner? They should only be charged for obstruction.
What is reckless driving? Reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation. It is usually a more serious offense than careless driving, improper driving or driving without due care and attention. What are the example of reckless driving? Speeding excessively over the posted limit, illegal passing (example passing on a curve or using the opposing lane, counter-flowing and ignoring and disregarding traffic signs). Reckless driving is often defined as a mental state in which the driver displays a wanton disregard for the rules of the road. A driver’s disregard for common driving procedures often causes accidents.
Will you charge a person for murder over the death of another person when the elements of the killing falls only in homicide? That is unfair and LTO personnel might commit abuse of authority. I am supporting this campaign to clear our national highways of Illegally parked vehicles, but I am asking Caindec not to abuse his power. Bantay baya ug dili ni ninyo sustinihan.