After more than a hundred years of independence, it would have been comforting to know that have made steps towards civilization. Not really. Despite all the “developments” we see here there and elsewhere, it seems like someone from the government with a “brilliant idea” would throw us back a couple of hundred years back.
In previous news, Commonwealth Avenue, the death highway, got a speed limit of 60 kph. And they did that after some government bigwig got killed by a rampaging bus. Never mind if it ever occurred to government officials that maybe it’s not the speed. Maybe it’s idiots on the road that’s more of a threat.
They say that the speed limit has made Commonwealth safer. But in a road with a billion lanes, 60 kph in modern day motoring is slow. A trip that used to take ten minutes when you can at least go at 70 or 80 kph just got longer. And in Metro conditions, minutes count especially once you deal with the other clogged arteries of Quezon City. Speed doesn’t kill. Suddenly coming to a halt is what gets you. Or some other idiot on the road. Both, I guess.
Just for kicks, the MMDA decided to throw us back again to the days of Salem. And it’s not like we had Puritan roots. Anyone who read Hawthorne or at least saw that Demi Moore flick would get my reference but for the rest of you illiterate Philistines, let me point you to a book called The Scarlet Letter. Trying to shame people by posting their misdeeds in public is something I’d expect from the former MMDA chair’s fascist handbook so it amazes me that they decided to do this when Noynoy promised changed.
Now we have a gallery of speeding violators on Commonwealth . So if you want to be famous, just give your car the beans until you blow past 70 kph (yes, there appears to be a 10 kph buffer) just before you reach one of the footbridges and smile for the cameras. I wonder what good this would do aside from reaffirming that a lot of drivers are plainly undisciplined.
The speed limit’s just an ingenious solution that a problem that should have never existed (to quote James May). I have reason to believe that the government just can’t come up with real solutions so they just decided to resort to shaming people like schoolyard bullies. Not that it would work, since we now have a skewed sense of saving face these days. Take Willie for example.
How about more elegant and civilized solutions? How about improving the U-turn and entry and exit points to and from Commonwealth?
But I think the problem, aside from infrastructure is that many of Metro drivers are better off walking. Operating a motor vehicle is one thing but driving is another. A basic understanding of road rules and defensive driving would do. So how about driver education? How about adopting the Swedish process for getting licenses ?
Oh, and I dare MMDA to post pictures of government vehicles as well. I want to see a red plate in the gallery there. I want to see some real scarlet letters (and numbers) there. Or perhaps cars with “8” plates. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those blow by everyone going 60 more than once.
Perhaps just for kicks, I’d speed, roll down my windows, and give them the finger. Maybe that’d make me an Internet celebrity. I’d be a poster boy for civil disobedience worthy of Fail Blog.