Luczon: Road, traffic literacy for all

Nef Luczon

IN THE equation of who is to blame in the worsening traffic condition in Cagayan de Oro City, the usual suspects would be the motorists, traffic system, and government officials; street vendors are also included at times.

However, the same way in addressing other community issues like garbage and illegal gambling, it always takes two to tango. And that means the public, whether they know how to drive or not, is also part in this equation.

Most of us ride the jeepney as main mode of public transportation, we are aware that if there's a yellow box at the side of the street, it means that place would be the usual stops where jeepneys load and unload passengers.

But not all streets have yellow boxes, let alone "loading and unloading" signs, same predicament that there are streets that have no pedestrian lanes, traffic lights, and even a traffic enforcer being present; these things would in turn contribute to the traffic flow.

Most interestingly, not all people are aware that despite having no vehicles, they are still a crucial factor in helping, or worsening the traffic condition. That is why, a traffic literacy drive is also important in imparting information on road safety and etiquette for communters.

The City Government's initiative to let those summer job interns flash placards that say "observe traffic rules" is a good start, but over time, this should become consistent and there should be programs that can educate the public why following traffic rules are important.

Not only that, the public also need to learn what do traffic and road signs mean. For one, there seems to be a confusion with "No unloading and loading" signs, commuters wait for jeepney with signs bearing the message and even jeepneys stop beside it.

There appears to be an opposite understanding, completely ignoring the word "no," which means no jeepneys are supposed to stop on that area to load and unload passengers, and the commuters should better find another spot to wait for jeepneys.

The recent traffic situation in the city is an eyeopener, like any other social issues that haunted the public in the longest time now but because of collective complacency, it persisted for many years now.