Road rage trending

With horrendous traffic comes pent-up anger, manifesting in violent outbursts also known as “road rage,” something we are seeing more often now. The FIBA basketball tournament caused several road closures, expanded bus lanes on EDSA, and instituted stop-and-go schemes to give way to team buses and coasters. Inconvenienced motorists must adjust to this global tournament, which has led to irate and impatient heads.

We are only aware of what is captured by CCTVs and mobile phone cameras, but we can be certain that this is just a thin slice of a larger pie. Luckily, no lives have been lost, and neither has anybody been injured, with all the road rage occurring daily. We have several factors to blame, such as the poor transport infrastructure, the high number of vehicles on the road, incompetent driving skills, and selective traffic enforcement. In the end, it is the motorist who must bear the stress of driving.

I spent the last (long) weekend in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the traffic there can be likened to Manila. The stark distinction lies in the discipline of the riders. In that city, you will see more motorcycles than four-wheel vehicles. That is why the buildings there are very narrow and functional, without garages for four-wheelers. There are wide sidewalks where people can walk safely. A horde of motorcycle riders does not feel like a threat in Vietnam — they move around like a school of fish, in rhythm and sync with each other. Of course, there will always be a few rowdy ones, but most of them are disciplined in their speed and maneuvering.

In the Philippines, we have motorcycle riders going in all directions at the fastest speeds possible. Our motorcycle riders deliberately try to sneak into every nook and cranny between cars and trucks. There is no sense of spatial distancing for our motorists when it comes to driving on the road, especially during rush hour. This leads to accidents and road rage.

Nowadays, you cannot afford to lose your cool in public, thanks to mobile phones and social media.

If humiliating footage of you is taken, in minutes it will be uploaded on Facebook, and within hours you will be in the news and vloggers will be giving their two centavos on the issue. With the recent footage of the retired cop in Quezon City, we saw how the public can crucify these individuals even before the benefit of a fair trial, although we can argue that there was nothing the retired cop could do or say in his own defense.

The handling of the issue was pathetic on the part of the PNP. Why would you grant the retired cop an audience via a press conference, when other similarly situated suspects are placed in a jail cell? The cop, it turned out, had even been dismissed earlier for dubious reasons, but despite this, he was armed with a handgun and was even employed in the Supreme Court.

Kudos to the public officers who spoke up on the issue, especially Senator JV Ejercito and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte. I am also most thankful for public interest lawyer, Atty. Raymond Fortun, immediately came forward to lead the prosecution of the retired cop, despite the victim cyclist’s refusal to file a case against the retired cop.

This is the sad reality of our societal system — victims choose not to come out due to fear for their own and their families’ safety. We hope and pray to see progress in this case so that it can be prevented from happening again.

For comments, email him at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *