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LTFRB head’s big pronouncement

/ 02:45 AM February 13, 2014

In the wake of the outcry over the latest road tragedy, this time involving a GV Florida Transport bus that killed 15 passengers and injured 32 others, LTFRB Chair Wilson Ginez said: “We are declaring war against colorum (bus) operators.”

Oh, yeah?

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Since when has the chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board—that’s what the LTFRB stands for, leaving you breathless when you say it—declared “war” against unsafe bus companies?

Ginez, who was appointed to the position of high responsibility as his reward for being one of the private prosecutors in the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, is apparently fond of issuing big pronouncements.

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Why didn’t Ginez make that fighting utterance after a Don Mariano bus fell off the South Expressway Skyway and killed 21 people last December?

If he did declare war on unsafe bus companies after the Don Mariano tragedy, why did the GV Florida Transport accident occur barely two months later?

The truth is Ginez probably thinks he’s still in front of TV cameras, which were all over the place during the Corona impeachment trial.

He should be awakened from his euphoric state and told that the impeachment trial had long been finished.

In other words, the LTFRB is not the Senate and Ginez should stop playing to the gallery.

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Congress should consider passing the bill introduced by Sen. JV Ejercito calling for the installation of electronic speed limiters in buses that ply our highways.

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Ejercito’s bill makes sense since the police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) is inutile in enforcing traffic laws on our highways.

Put an electronic speed limiter in every bus and set the limit at 80 kph on the highway.

The 80-kph speed is very safe on the highway.

In Davao City, road accidents were practically eliminated after the controversial Mayor Rody Duterte set a speed limit: 80 kph on the highway, 60 kph in densely populated areas and 40 kph in the city proper.

If the speed-limit experiment works in Davao City, there’s no reason it can’t work in other places in the country.

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In highly-developed countries like the United States and Japan, the penalty for drunk driving is stiff.

A friend of mine who was then a new resident in the US learned to his chagrin about the severe penalty when he was caught drunk driving: He was made to pay a big fine and render two months of community service.

His community service entailed picking up trash thrown by motorists on the highways during his days off from work.

Let us impose severe penalties on people caught drunk driving to make our roads safer.

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The downside to a severe penalty on drunk driving is that some policemen will take advantage of that still-to-be-passed law.

Corrupt cops would make a killing, so to speak, on drivers apprehended for being drunk behind the wheel.

They would tell a drunken driver to choose between, say, a P5,000 fine plus six-month imprisonment or a P2,000 bribe.

But there are no traffic cops on the streets at night when most accidents happen because drivers “own” the road after having had one too many in beer joints.

If a law imposing severe penalties for drunk driving is passed, there would be plenty of traffic cops on the highways at night.

* * *

Joke time.

An armed robber held up a drunken man and told him to choose between handing his wallet or getting his head blown off.

The robbery victim said: “Bahala ka na, parehong walang laman ang hinihingi mo (Go ahead, both are empty anyway).”

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TAGS: Bus Companies, colorum bus operators, Drunk-Driving, Florida, GV Florida Transport bus, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, LTFRB Chair Wilson Ginez, Road tragedy
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