A SMILE with teeth missing in between canines could actually be cute and rather charming from a certain perspective.

A “toothless” ordinance is however never attractive. It may be considered as nothing but a neat set of fonts printed on paper. It is inutile and useless.

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As per observation, one of these seemingly “toothless” measures is the “king of the road” ordinance. An ordinance aimed to protect pedestrians in the locality from reckless and rude motorists.

Despite the local law which demands a mandatory five-second stop for vehicles entering pedestrian lanes especially when “road-crossers” are in clear view, some stubborn ill-mannered drivers continue to just “ram” through.

After receiving feedback from concerned citizens, I took on the chore to do some observation myself. More than shocked, I was literally disappointed with what I’ve seen. The ordinance is openly being violated right in the heart of the city. Most of the violators were “cabbies”, followed by public utility jeepneys and private vehicles.

Locations of some of the “zebra lanes” which continue to be ignored by abusive drivers include: the white lanes along upper Session Road, the area in front of the stairs going up to the Baguio Cathedral, the lanes below and near the old “Sky World” site, the Mabini St-Session road intersection, the raod fronting the old “Pines theater”, most lanes along Harisson Rd., pedestrian lanes near the entrance and exit gates of a university along Bonifacio st, and the crossing area along Abanao. Now basically that almost covers most of the “zebra lanes” within the central business district (cbd)… Tsk…tsk…tsk… it does seem the ordinance is useless.

Poor pedestrians, still treated as second hand citizens when crossing roads and streets.

Well, I guess the heading “king of the road” is still fit. Though not for pedestrians but for reckless and arrogant motorists (especially cabbies) who still exhibit their dominance on our thoroughfares. PUJs actually also disregard the lanes, some have been observed to habitually load and unload on zebra lanes…Again…Poor Pedestrians.

Oh before I forget, the designated crossing lanes near the Baguio Convention Center and the University of the Philippines Baguio continue to be utterly disregarded by many motorists. If I’m not mistaken more than a couple of “hit and run” cases have been reported in the area. Unfortunately, instead of traffic enforcers to reprimand and nab irresponsible drivers, there instead seems to exist an invisible “cross at your own risk” warning over there…Again…Poor Pedestrians…victims of “king of the road” drivers.

On the other hand, to monitor all zebra lanes in the locality may surely be considered as a very tedious task. So why not find ways to accommodate the suggestion of converting the lanes into “mini humps” or what is known as “wake up lanes” found along some along national highways?

Unless strict enforcement or a viable alternative is carried out, the “king of the road” ordinance may presumably be expected to remain as what it appears to be at the present…inutile and useless.

Other regulations which appeared “toothless” lately are the “no selling of liquor to minors” and “curfew for minors” ordinances.

Following the news regularly, I was utterly shocked when I read the report on the recent “massacre” in an apartment at Dizon Subdivision. Three female victims aged 63, 16, and 14 were allegedly stabbed to death by a 15 year old suspect supposedly under the influence of liquor. In addition, the youngest victim was also allegedly raped by the “intoxicated” suspect who happens to be a minor.

Based on news reports the suspect admittedly left their residence to “drink” alcoholic beverages “outside” on the eve of the crime. Taking this into account as well as presuming the suspect purchased his own “drinks” after the “minor-curfew” hour, I have but a couple of questions: “Where and who sold liquor or alcoholic beverages the minor?” and “What has happened to the implementation of curfew for minors ordinance in this case?”

As there seems to have been shortcomings in the enforcement of pertinent ordinances in this incident, the ordinances appear to have been rendered “toothless.” I couldn’t help but wonder, “could the incident been avoided if the related ordinances were sternly enforced?”

Everything said, I still would welcome the distinct charm and appeal of a toothless smile. A “Toothless” ordinances is however a different story.