Espinoza: Discipline

Espinoza: Discipline

Tourists or travelers of different races from different countries are, after a two-year hiatus brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, practically back on their feet, so to speak.

We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday, March 20, 2023, and I was amazed at the sight of thousands of tourists or travelers coming from within the Asian region and some from Europe queueing at Immigration.

The immigration officer didn’t ask me or my companions any questions like if I had my “diploma” with me.

All she did was check my passport, stamp the arrival date on it, have me electronically fingerprinted, take my photograph and then welcome me to Bangkok.

Simple procedure compared to our complicated system at the airport immigration.

At the airport terminal, I did not see armed security guards or cops roaming around. There were no guards at the entrances or exits, which, to me, is a sign that peace and order in this country is great and that visitors or tourists are welcome and they have nothing to worry about.

You know, the sight of armed cops or security guards could give visitors a worrisome perspective.

Our trip from the airport to the hotel took much faster because of the elevated tracks. Manila is only catching up with this mode of road network. We were only held up by traffic in Bangkok’s Central Business District. But what impressed me is that I did see cops manning traffic on the city streets and vehicle drivers were disciplined, following traffic rules even in the cops’ absence.

Or maybe because Thailand’s traffic system is much ahead of ours that traffic cops are no longer necessary on the streets. Notably, I did not see motorcycle drivers in Bangkok, who are equivalent to our habal-habal drivers here, drive against the flow of traffic, which is a common sight on our streets here in Cebu City.

Some drivers here, with special mention to some bikers and cyclists, blatantly violate traffic rules even under the noses of traffic enforcers.

There is not much difference though in the volume of motor vehicles that run on Bangkok streets and on the streets of Metro Manila.

Of course, Cebu City’s traffic is much lighter than in Bangkok, yet most motorists here complain a lot even with traffic enforcers manning intersections that have no traffic lights.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again that the basic key to orderly traffic is disciplined road users.

Discipline starts with obtaining the driver’s license at the Land Transportation Office the right way, educating drivers and all road users about traffic laws, rules and regulations and enforcing these without fear or favor.

Of course, the acquisition by the local government unit of the most modern traffic system coupled with strict enforcement of laws would undoubtedly improve everyone’s mobility that could rebound to a good, if not better economy for the country in general and for a metropolis in particular.


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