Thursday, July 14, 2011

Traffic & Enforcers

I hate to sound like a broken record about the traffic in Manila, Philippines. But one can not help the way they feel, or the way you see this traffic and think to yourself, what a joke.   How sad it is to know a country like the Philippines can not manage their traffic, traffic enforcers, the bus drivers, taxi drivers, and the jeepney drivers.

Every day as we drive through the street of Manila Metro, you feel sad, angry, and numb towards any and everyone who cuts you off, drives on top of the white line (if there are any white lines),  makes a right turn from the left lane, or makes a left turn from the right lanes.   I find that the people driving, can't judge the distance of their cars, SUV's or trucks, it is like they can only drive forwards, and at times that seems hard to them.

Take a few points of traffic here:
1) Traffic enforcers, these are the men and women who stand along side of the road, or at intersections directing traffic, and issuing traffic tickets. There maybe anywhere from 1 to 3 of these traffic enforcers at an intersection, and at times, they all are directing traffic.  What a mess, even more so if they are directing in different directions, and yes that happens.   I don't think most of them have had any type a training in how to direct traffic, as you can see for yourself once  your at an intersection, as you drive along EDSA.
But in some intersection it is better then just leaving it up to the drivers to manage the traffic themselves. A major problem, it there are NO stop sign at intersections, this causes a major problem.  It appears the drivers have no clue as tot he intersection rules, (if there are rules).

2) Traffic enforcers want you to pay a bribe, if you do get pulled over they most will tell you why they pulled you over, but will tell you they are writing a ticket for a more serious traffic offense.  Look closely at the ticket they say they are writing, if it take a while, they are not writing, they are stalling for a bribe. Yes they want you to pay them to let you out of the ticket, so throw then 200.00 peso and  your on your way.  This has happened to my wife with me in the truck, it makes me pissed off. I want to take a photo of them taking the bribe, and turn them in.

3) Traffic enforcer don't know the laws they are trying to enforce, you can watch them allowing drivers to do just about what ever they want, cutting you off, driving in the wrong lane to get a head of other cars, changing lanes when there are signs that tell you not too, turn left or right from the the from the far right or left lanes, causing traffic to stop or backed up for one vehicle, driving in the center of a lane, on top of the white line. Traffic enforcer have no clue as well.

4) Buses, taxi, and jeepeny will cut into your lane in a heart beat, they wont look to see if the lane or traffic is clear, they will just cut over, honk their horn if they do see you, so you will stop. It is this me first here in the Philippines, it is like they can't wait for traffic to clear, they will just clear it themselves so to speak. I would like to know how may jeepney driver do have a valid drivers license, they seem to drive without the knowledge of law, rules of the roads.   You will see the police conducting road side inspection on motorcycle, and sometimes jeepneys,  which I think is a good idea, but take it to the buses and taxi drivers.

5) The police officer do the same thing as far as the way they drive as everyone else, they do NOT set the example, they do not issue traffic tickets, they do cut you off, they do run red traffic lights, they do as they please, the motorcycle police, cut  in and out of traffic to get a head of the traffic they don't want to enforce.

It is sad, that no one wants to improve the traffic condition here, their answer is U-turns this causes more problem them solutions. They allow 1 to 2 lanes to make a U-turn, but what to the drivers do, they will take up to 3,4 or 5 lanes to make their turn, causing more traffic back ups. The other lanes use to keep traffic moving have to slow, or stop to allow the driver who can read, make their turns. Then the 2 to 5 lanes of drivers wanting to turn, will make their turn back down to 1 lanes,  just picture 2 to 5 lanes, making a U-turn,  in the middle of the U-turn, everyone wants to complete the turn down to one lanes, so once again, everyone is cutting each other off, causing more traffic jams.

No one here gets it, it is all about them, where they are going, and how they are getting there. No regards for the laws, the other drivers, they will drive in a manner that allows then to get a head of you, and the traffic.
Someone needs to teach these people how to drive, I don't feel they really know how to.

More to come on this subject, I'm sure.

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