Briones: Crackdown

THE draconian measures the Cebu City Government has imposed on traffic violators have drawn flak from many sectors.

They think Mayor Tomas Osmeña is being unreasonable for impounding for 30 days the vehicle of violators caught counterflowing or using the sidewalks.

One motorist thought he was above the law and ended up on the run because he shot the clamp on his vehicle, which he parked illegally in Barangay Carreta.

The mayor did warn last month that the City would strictly enforce and implement traffic laws as a way to ease congestion.

Traffic in the city has ballooned out of proportion. More and more vehicles are entering the streets every day, but the infrastructure has failed to keep up with the additional volume.

To address the problem, motorists must first observe traffic laws like not stopping in front of a “no stopping” sign or encroaching on the opposite lane or blocking pedestrian crosswalks.

Yet there are people—they are the minority, by the way—who do what they want once they’re behind the wheel with no consideration to others.

Maybe it’s out of sheer ignorance since some of them are either driving without a license or were able to secure their license without going through the proper procedure. Maybe they’re just stupid in believing they can continue to get away with the violations because, let’s face it, they have for so many years. Or maybe they’re just hardheaded because they believe the law does not apply to them.

Either way, the aim of these new measures is to discipline motorists. Those who obey traffic laws have nothing to fear.

“I don’t want to catch anybody, I just don’t want people to be abusing,” Osmeña had said repeatedly.

In the neighboring city of Mandaue, traffic enforcer Cresencio Balili, 49, is in serious condition after he was run over by a motorcycle driver who refused to stop after he was flagged by another enforcer for not wearing a helmet and because his motorcycle’s headlight was off.

The erring driver was identified as Ian Atillo. The 31-year-old’s traffic violations included reckless driving, disregarding a traffic enforcer, driving without a helmet and driving without a license.

Atillo, who is detained in Mandaue Police Station 4, would not answer questions why he did what he did.

I don’t know if criminal complaints have already been lodged against him, but while they’re at it, they should test him for illegal drugs.

In the meantime, Balili’s life is left hanging in the balance.

What happened to Balili and to that shooting incident involving the clamp in Cebu City illustrate the need to rid the streets of traffic offenders.

Hence, the crackdown.
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