As if the terrible traffic jams were not enough. The Pinoy driver has a lot of “running relays” to go through day in, day out – motorcyclists overtaking from the blind side, checkpoints, anti-air pollution operations, jaywalkers who appear out of nowhere, jeepneys stopping right in the middle of the street, speed freaks and other swerving vehicles which cutting the right of way. Not to mention going to jail when hitting someone even if the victim was the reckless party. Only in the Philippines.
One of the biggest challenges is evading arrest when a traffic cop apprehends a motorist. Violations range from the reasonable to the outrageous. Over-speeding, beating the red light, obstruction when stopping at the cross lines or in front of establishments, making the wrong turns, entering one-way streets and the like are quite understandable.
But there are instances when a driver is driven out of his wits figuring out the right reasons behind weird traffic rules.
Why on earth are the No Loading/ Unloading signages found right beside waiting sheds where passengers hail public transportation?
Why would anti-air pollution apprehenders test brand new cars and charge them for smoke-belching?
Why would towers hook cars on their trucks when the driver is around and willing to park properly?
While there are a thousand and one reasons for being apprehended, there are equally a good number of excuses to get off the hook.
1. The Shy Guy. This is common among the so-called kings of the road (hari ng kalsada) a.k.a. jeepney drivers who could pass up for a role in Fast and the Furious but who would suddenly transform into Mr. Shy Guy when accosted for a violation. You could see the signature pose from afar, the “kamot-ulo” as he spews out apologies.
Manong Pepe takes on the famous head scratch and with doe-eyed apologies issues excuses, “Pasensya na boss. Hindi na po mauulit.”
2. The Escape Artist. He is the type with the 20-20 vision and has the ability to scout from a distance if the apprehending traffic officer has any back up or mobile car. In the absence of a motorcycle or auto, he slows down pretending to approach the traffic police then suddenly rushes off.
Rodney thinks he had a clean get-away after evading arrest. Unlucky for him he totally missed out on the two-way radio which the arresting officer used to tip his colleagues. Another group was waiting for him on the next curb, this time with a mobile ready to chase. He lamely explained his side but it was too late. He already gained their ire.
3. The Great Pretender. Beware of the collector of calling cards. They may be the type to misuse connections. This person would stop at nothing to ask for calling cards from people in power — senators, congressmen, police generals etc. — and arrogantly brag about his affiliations to get off the hook.
Gibo flashed a calling card and with his toothpaste smile and said, “Sir, tito ko po si Mayor.” The traffic aide motioned him to leave.
4. The Service-Provider. This usually happens with professionals like lawyers or doctors try to rationally talk their way out by offering their services if the traffic officer finds himself in a fix.
Atty. TJ cajoles, “Sir, pasensya na po. Nagmamadali lang ako, may hearing pa kasi ako sa munisipyo. Kung mangangailangan po kayo ng abogado, tawagan lang ako.” The traffic aide left smiling after making a new friend.
5. The Briber. He immediately offers to smooth things out by hinting on settling the matter, “Baka pwede na natin aregluhin ito para wala nang abala.” Then he somehow slips a peso bill in the hand of the traffic cop and goes off without a ticket.
Alvin kept on bribing his way throughout the years as a professional driver getting away with all sorts of violations. Or so he thought. Recently, he got a ticket for obstruction and as he went to the Manila City Hall to claim his licence, the newly-computerized records showed he had a whopping penalty reaching P180,000!
6. The Bush-Whacker. This type heats up as the traffic officer approaches. In a raised voice, he argues his way out as soon as he lowers his window. If this does not work, he would ask “Di mo ba ako kilala?”, collar the poor guy and then threatedn violence to scare off the apprehender.
This is so common on television but the offender always ends up sorry for what he did especially after being bashed on social media and charged by authorities with physical assault.
7. The Magician. This is the guy who works or is affiliated with a media or government office. After a few pleadings, he flashes the Magic ID and voila! The violation disappears.
Jana was not aware there was no left turn in the Ortigas intersection. She meekly admitted her ignorance and asked to be considered like a sister in government service. The cop relented.
Whatever the approach, save for the one with violent tendencies, taking yourself out of the sticky traffic situation all boils down to one thing. Give respect where it is due. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by being polite with the authorities. Quietly acknowledge if indeed there is a wrong-doing, apologize and try to settle things without necessarily showing the money, of course. In this manner, the apprehending officer will more likely to cut the offender some slack.
It also helps to do some research on traffic rights. But use the knowledge to quietly explain your side and not to arrogantly lash back at the apprehending officer.
When all else fails and the cop still insists on sequestering your licence, quietly surrender.
Phillip tried more than three approaches cited earlier but to no avail. As the traffic police got his licence and issued a ticket, he commended the cop for doing his job.
A wise man once said, anger is just one letter short of danger. Lose your temper and yack on, and you are more likely to be dragged to the dungeons. Wear your smile and be in your best behavior. It is more likely to keep you off the hook.
Photo from: www.insurancequotes.com