The untimely deaths of 22 Iranians in a recent bus crash in Balamban Town, Cebu wasn't the last as less than a month later, 15 died in another bus accident in the neighboring city of Toledo. The common denominator between these two bus crashes are its drivers. As way the things usually are in the Philippines, majority of drivers license holders are not qualified to even drive a car, let alone a bus. Let's not forget that more than half of them can't even read simple traffic signs.
In the aftermath of the bus crashes, the Land Transportation Office conducted road safety seminars for utility vehicle drivers and administered an exam afterwards. The language used wasn't even in English as majority of our utility vehicle drivers cannot even communicate in English -that in itself, will not make me wonder why they can't read traffic signs that are in English- besides, drivers think they know the roads and their vehicles quite well.
It's high time the government will have to reevaluate the issuance of drivers' license. There are too many loopholes. LTO offices are congested and the services they offer would drive one to employ the services of a fixer -you don't have to present yourself to process your license until you have your picture taken.
These seminars-after-the-fact is another band-aid solution to a much bigger problem. If these government agencies are efficient in making sure drivers are qualified to drive, we won't be seeing these bus crashes anymore. The issue will die down in a few months time and LTO will be happily issuing drivers license to these unqualified people and for sure, we will see more bus crashes in the years to come.
The drivers are not the problem, the Land Transportation Office is.
Posted at Friday, July 23, 2010 by CAFFiend