THE strict and consistent implementation of road-safety related laws will certainly lead to the development of a road safety culture in our country. But given what is at stake – the lives of Filipinos – we do not have to solely rely on the performance of law enforcers for us to have such culture in our country. We can and we ought to do it ourselves.
Road safety in our country is, after all, a responsibility not just of the government and its agents, but of all of us – individually.
We will have safer roads if concerned business owners and drivers will subordinate their personal interests to the common good, which in this case is road safety culture in our country.
Owners of public utility vehicles and cargo trucks need to own the responsibility of ensuring that their vehicles are roadworthy. The common “malfunctioned break system” cause of road accidents, particularly those that involved cargo trucks, is an illustration that vehicle owners value earnings or profits more than the safety of our roads.
The same is true in the case of over speeding public utility vehicles – earning more is prioritized over the safety of passengers, pedestrians and other road users.
The weak system of drivers’ licensing of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is not an excuse for us to escape our responsibility of being competent in driving before we use our roads as drivers.
The safety of and in our roads is also a function of the discipline of vehicle drivers. Let us all admit that many of the road accidents (not to mention the heavy vehicular traffic problem) are caused by undisciplined driving practices. Even if we know that we will most likely escape apprehension (including penalty), because of weak law enforcement, we need to be responsible enough to always follow traffic rules because they are set to make our roads (and the people using it) safe.
If we can be disciplined drivers in Clark and Subic (where enforcement of traffic rules is both strict and consistent) and when we drive in other countries, we can and we should also be disciplined drivers anywhere in the country.
We have to own the responsibility of having safe roads in our country because the price of abandoning such responsibility is simply too high – one life lost is just too many because it is a loss that can be avoided if we use our roads responsibly.
We do not need to wait for us to lose one of our loved ones in a road accident before we realize that we have contributed to the existence of an unsafe road culture in our country.