KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS
BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans…” (Proverbs 16:3, the Holy Bible).
PREVENTING DEADLY ROAD MISHAPS REQUIRE MORE THAN INCREASING PENALTIES: While the objectives of Sen. JV Ejercito’s proposal to increase penalties for passenger overloading in public utility vehicles, particularly buses and jeepneys, appear good, they are, with due respect, totally short of what is truly needed to prevent deadly road accidents in the nature of the Caranglan, Nueva Ejica tragedy last week.
I believe that what is sorely needed by drivers today are not higher penalties for their violations of traffic laws, although I have been saying for quite some time now that the penalties under the Revised Penal Code for accidents which claim the lives of many passengers is ridiculously low. A driver who kills 100 while driving will not even be jailed for more than one day, actuall.
What drivers need is a re-training of their mindset—from the maniacal, diabolic, selfish, and devil-may-care attitude that they possess at the moment, to careful and considerate not only of their welfare and the welfare of their own passengers but of the other drivers and passengers of these other drivers, and the general public as well who happen to be walking on roads and thoroughfares.
POLICIES ON DRIVING IN RP INSANE AND DANGEROUS: Right now, there is no system by which persons wanting to drive could be screened before they are even allowed to sit behind steering wheels. Because of this, just about anyone who is desirous of driving, even those without any previous training at all or even those who cannot even comprehend the grave responsibility of driving vehicles, can easily get his or her license and then already drive on the road.
This is totally insane as it is dangerous. Insane because driving is not simply a mechanical act that can affect only the driver, but the general public as well who, as past experiences have shown, are always at the mercy of reckless and careless and thoughtless drivers and who often end up dead or maimed for the rest of their lives.
At this point that accidents are happening quite often with many of our countrymen getting killed or injured in the process, there is a need to see to it that those who are allowed to drive any vehicle on any road has the requisite mental capacity to be courteous, considerate of others, and careful enough.
DRIVERS MUST FIRST BE TAUGHT ABOUT GMRC: I propose therefore that before anyone is allowed to drive or is allowed to obtain any driver’s license, there must be some kind of an orientation seminar that they will have to undergo which focuses on GMRC, or, as we knew it from our elementary days, good manners and right conduct, and on respect for life, and on fear and love of God.
Yes, even fear and love of God must be required of, and must therefore be taught to, drivers in this seminar I am proposing. My gut feeling is that many of those who get involved in mishaps and fatal vehicular accidents do not even have any notion about fear and love of God, and so they lack respect and concern for their fellow human beings.
I am not suggesting a religious test—that is different. I am only after teaching the rudiments of spirituality, of knowing that there is a God whom we must fear and love, and that this God has required all of us also to love others as we love ourselves. If drivers are taught to love others as they love themselves, they will surely be more careful in their trips.
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