Editorial: Traffic rules are traffic rules

TRAFFIC enforcer Rey Sison was only conducting an investigation of a traffic accident when suddenly a speeding vehicle bumped him.

According to the police report, Sison was dead on the spot after he was bumped by the vehicle, which was being driven by Police Lieutenant Julius Arisgado Edpalina.

In a SunStar Davao report on December 13, the initial investigation revealed that Sison was standing at the center of the double yellow line when the Toyota Avanza driven by Edpalina swerved to the opposite side bumping the CTTMO personnel.

A double yellow line means that vehicles on both lanes cannot cross to either lane. But despite the traffic sign, the police officer swerved to the other lane which is a traffic violation.

Due to the force of impact, the traffic enforcer was thrown to the left side of the vehicle that he was investigating resulting in his instantaneous death.

Edpalina is now facing reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, despite his reason that he did not notice the enforcer standing at the center.

Sison has been with the Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) for nine years but is not a regular employee. According to CTTMO head Dionisio Abude, they have not received any complaints against Sison. This means that for nearly a decade, Sison has been serving the city to the best of his capacity. Sadly, it had to end due to someone crossing the double yellow line.

Despite the existence of traffic rules and the efforts of personnel from CTTMO, Land Transportation Office, and Highway Patrol Group of the Police Region Office in Davao Region, drivers continue to disregard traffic rules. This is the same for both drivers of private vehicles and public utility vehicles.

Every day, these erring drivers put the lives of innocent Dabawenyos at risk -- whether they are passengers, pedestrians, or fellow motorists on the road.

With the branding of “Mga Dabawenyo disiplinado”, several Dabawenyos fail to follow traffic rules every day. Some illegally park along the streets, others do not follow the speed limit, and some do not even wear seat belts. There are a lot who can barely recognize what a pedestrian is.

CTTMO has previously expressed its frustration over the drivers disregarding traffic rules. Those who drive have to understand that the rules that are put in place are meant to not only protect the drivers but also those who ply the road, including the pedestrians who are crossing or walking along the sidewalks.

Maybe it is time for the City Government to not only hike up its penalties against erring drivers but also strengthening the CTTMO. Davao’s roads are already not in the best shape with traffic worsening by the day. Let us not worsen this by becoming erring drivers.


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