Speed limit for PUV in the city Print
Saturday, 03 October 2015 15:20

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

To stop the repetition of the recently early morning fatal vehicular accident of a passenger van plying the West Coast route, the City Council must enact an ordinance requiring all passenger vehicles to install a “stopper” or “governor”, a gadget in their engines that limits their speed when travelling. The traffic speed limits in the city are ignored by incorrigible out-of-town drivers who are “kings of the road” in Zamboanga City. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) must help the City Government cub this malady of “criminals on wheels” by strictly inspecting their vehicles’ condition, their driver licenses, their PUJ franchises and most of all, impound passenger vans that illegally plaster on their vehicles, the business name of passenger line franchises but actually are privately owned. This is a classic case of “colorum” vehicles plying the  national highways right in front of the noses of our traffic authorities. We were informed that the vehicle that figured in a very early morning fatal accident in Caragasan was sporting a “UV” passenger van franchise but actually Table Talk was informed that the van is allegedly privately owned and is not part of the fleet of the UV passenger vans. This might just be the “tip of the iceberg”. How many passenger vans do UV have? The LTO must check on this because what we notice  is, our West Coast highway  is dominated by UV passenger vans that run like hell at a few minutes interval.

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A “stopper” or “governor” gadget installed in the engine of a vehicle limits its maximum speed of, let us say to 80 km/hr.. Even if you step hardest on the gasoline accelerator, the speed does not go up beyond 80 km’hr. Big multi-national companies install this gadget on all their vehicles for two reasons. First, it prohibits vehicular accident because its speed is controlled. Second, it minimizes fuel consumption because the higher the speed of the engine, the more fuel it consumes. Government must adopt this technique on their vehicles and expand the technique to all passenger vehicles in the city by way of a City Ordinance and with the assistance of the LTO in its implementation. This will also put at bay crooks in the passenger lines business that extend their passenger lines business franchises to privately owned vehicles for a certain amount of fee. The privately owned vehicle takes  passengers to their destination escaping an LTO requirement of passenger insurances, and the permit to use a certain passenger route. The national and city government are losing a lot of revenue, considering that Zamboanga City has over 50,000 passenger vehicles using city and national roads daily. “Colorum”  passenger vehicles add to the snarling traffic jams in our city streets everyday. This has got to stop. Our narrow city and national roads are overcrowded to the limit with PUJ and private vehicles. Worst, passengers are always at the losing end. When accidents happen, they don’t get any insurances as a relief to their injuries or loss of their lives.

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Because of this misconstrued belief, that a driver or an owner or operator can escape the regulation of the law, even private motorcycles are doing a brisk passenger business, by ferrying two or three passengers at a time in barangays in the city from bus terminals or from the public wharf. They make a “killing” in their illegal trade, because without having to pay for permits and licenses, they charge exorbitant fares and sometimes they rob their innocent passengers. Numerous complaints have been blottered in the barangays and police offices. The complaints are just treated like “copy and paste” in a computer, because no erring drivers are jailed and banned to drive in our city streets. “Dura Lex Sed Lex”, the law maybe harsh but it is the law.

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Three weeks ago, while  going home to Suterville after my weekly early morning brisk walking exercise  at the bay walk in Cawa-Cawablvd, while driving my old car along RT Lim Blvd., in front of the Carmelite monastery, and while in the process of slowly overtaking a passenger jeepney bound for Lower Calarian, a speeding white UV passenger van suddenly emerged forcing its way to overtake the passenger jeepney. I was left with no option but to move to the left side and almost pin my car on the center road island. The speeding UV passenger van forcefully occupied the center road between my car and the passenger jeepney and proceeded away like a “bully” without even the courtesy of blowing its horn to warn us of his intention. I could have figured in an accident if I acted like the UV passenger van driver, but gave him passage instead. All I can I do is gnash at my teeth in anger and curse the driver silently. I hope he is not the white UV passenger van that figured in that fatal accident early morning in Caragasan. If he is the one, then Table Talk has no sympathy for him, he got a dose of his own medicine. Those injured poor passengers must be compensated by him for being a “reckless king of the road”.

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Scoop: To all passenger vehicle drivers, believe in “Karma” or “Gaba”, it strikes anytime at the least you expect. No one is exempted from “Karma”, it is part of life. God said “vengeance is mine”. But at least everybody is given a chance to do good before the “Karma” strikes like a “thief in the night”.You may agree or disagree.