COUNTERFLOWING has to be the most stupid practice of ill-disciplined and uncivilized Filipino drivers. One can only wonder how many people missed important appointments not to mention medical emergencies that did not reach hospital on time when counterflowing drivers bring traffic to a standstill.
Cebu City’s move, therefore, to put a stop to this stupidity is most welcome. And if impounding vehicles is against the law, then let a law be enacted allowing it because stupid drivers are not likely to stop the practice for anything less.
If you think vehicle-owners should not be penalized for the wrongs of their drivers, think again. Public utility drivers might do it to compete for trips and passengers but family drivers are known to do it on instruction or tacit approval from ill-educated vehicle-owners.
The stupid practice is most exasperating in two-lane provincial roads up north and down south. Traffic in these roads inevitably gets to a standstill when drivers do not wait for stalled traffic to clear but instead pull a fast but stupid one by filling up the lane of the oncoming traffic. And by the way, where are the motorcycle cops (highway troopers) during gridlock?
Of course, the most notorious violators of the law against counterflowing are motorcycles. My driver failed to come back from Christmas leave for health reasons and I have since been forced to drive again after three years. I was shocked at how many more motorcycles there are and how much more of a road menace they have become.
They run all over the place ignoring every traffic rule in the book. They are suddenly in front of you counterflowing from traffic on the left or darting past you ignoring your left or right turn signal. The worst part is you have to give in to them or face their angry stare.
Yes, this is good news that counterflowing is being stopped. But, if you ask me, forget continuity. This disciplinary move will stop with the onset of elections. Officials running for re-election will want to court the votes of drivers by waiving due fines and giving some slack to counter-flowing drivers for the duration of the campaign period.
Again, this is one more disadvantage to our system of voting for individuals. If politicians want to win re-election they have to be permissive in order to get the votes of even the most stupid and ill-disciplined of drivers. (On another note but still on the subject of discipline, officials have been known to encourage squatting before elections just so they can get the votes of squatters they let in.)
Hence, as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, the drive against counter-flowing will ease up and even vanish around election time. Ningas cogon? What else?