An excerpt from one of us, a fellow pedestrian, motorist, and Filipina
When I was in high school, I was eager to be independent and learn how to commute going to school. My father had other plans and taught me to drive. However, as I got older and started working, I opted to just commute to work and wherever my field work would take me. For me, it was easier that way. I didn’t have to worry about where to park, steep parking fees, car maintenance, plus I didn’t have to be too conscious about following road rules. I was dead wrong about the last one.
Road rules apply not just to vehicles; they also apply to pedestrians as well. Well, anyone can be a pedestrian. Once you leave your car and start walking to the next building, you’re a pedestrian. I have observed my friends, as well as shuttle drivers, and realized that it’s not always the drivers who are at fault when road accidents occur. I mean sure, there are drivers who are reckless, but it’s not just vehicles that occupy our roads. Pedestrians occupy them too.
In all the years that I have been commuting, I noticed that people can also cause traffic or accidents. We can’t limit the rules to just the drivers. We, commuters, also have a responsibility to take part in making our streets safer for travels. Since there are some unspoken or unimplemented set of rules for pedestrians that go around on the streets, I thought of coming up with a list.
Road Rules for Pedestrians:
1) Make a conscious decision to alight at the right unloading areas. Don’t insist on the driver to drop you off at a “No Unloading” area. I witnessed a driver giving in to a stubborn passenger to be dropped off at a “No Unloading” area and this passenger ended up causing traffic AND getting the van into an accident, putting others in danger.
2) Hail a public utility vehicle at the right loading areas. This is so you won’t cause traffic and inconvenience to everyone else.
3) NO jaywalking. If there are pedestrian lanes in the city you’re in, use them when crossing the street. Don’t break the rules by crossing the street when there’s a sign that clearly says you shouldn’t and even if there are no enforcers to see the crime you’re about to commit. The “No Pedestrian Crossing” sign is there for a reason. The fine for jaywalking has gone up to 500 pesos or a 3-hour community service.
4) Walk bridges are also a good way to cross the street. If you’re afraid of heights (like I am), it’s still a better choice to use them because your chance of survival is better than crossing the street and getting hit by a fast running vehicle. My trick is just to keep your focus on the other end of the bridge while walking. You’ll be at the end of the bridge before you know it.
5) Walk briskly when crossing the street. If you see someone who is having a hard time crossing the street, say an old lady, assist the person until both of you have safely crossed the road.
6) Always stay on the side walk. However, if there’s no side walk, you may walk on the road as long as you’re out of the way of vehicles.
Remember, we can all work together in keeping each other safer on the road. And I’m not just talking about fellow pedestrians, this goes out to drivers as well. We all want less traffic and to bring down road accidents. We can be solutions to the problems we face on the road by striving to be disciplined.