Pedestrians who figure into accidents while crossing along a pedestrian lane will always be on the right side of the law. Unfortunately, a lot of motorists don’t respect this fact and drive across intersections like bats out of hell with no regard for pedestrians or their safety.
After 2 consecutive incidences (in 2 days) of accidents involving pedestrians being hit by vehicles while crossing the street, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte ordered authorities to apprehend all motorists caught not respecting the pedestrian lanes in the City.
“Respect pedestrian lanes or be arrested” orders Davao City Mayor
To curb easily avoidable accidents, Mayor Duterte called on the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to become more visible and intensify their efforts on protecting pedestrians crossing the streets of Davao City.
“Gahi og ulo. Bisan unsaon. Karon palisuran tamo. Mao man inyo ginapangayo. Ihatag nako… Di man ninyo kaya disiplinahon ang inyong sarili sa dalan, ang gobyerno ang mudisplina sa inyo kay bulok mo (They are really stubborn. They cannot be disciplined. Now, we will make things hard for you since you’ve been asking for it. If they cannot discipline themselves while on the road, the government will be the ones who will be disciplining them),” Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, Davao City Mayor in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio
All vehicle owners – public and private-owned – are being called to slow down at intersections and crosswalks, and to practice a “give and take” action between vehicles and crossing pedestrians. The Mayor reiterated that “the pedestrian crossing is intended to prioritize those crossing the streets… It is their right”. According to other reports, he further added that those who “…do not know how to respect those crossing pedestrians, then you are stupid”.
Derogatives aside, what’s just as concerning about accidents involving people who properly use the pedestrian lane is the fact that government officials are actually calling on motorists to respect pedestrian lanes. Isn’t this part of driving school education in the first place? How such individuals with brazen disregard for safety and life can be given driver’s licenses should be beyond anyone who has proper driving manners, and calls such as this should shake us to our core, drivers, motorists, and pedestrians alike.
For all local governments, this should be something everyone gets behind and supports to the fullest. If it’s already being “enforced”, then perhaps enforcement should be strengthened, yes? Let’s hope this starts as a cue for everyone to practice courtesy, observe safety, and respect all pedestrians and pedestrian lanes as educated motorists should.