How many times have we seen this kind of driving from our "lovely" bus drivers?
For readers who are not familiar with Tagalog, the title is a pun and play on the word bastos, which essentially means no manners, no breeding, bereft of propriety.
My thoughts go to these drivers, both of buses and jeepneys, especially when they are raising a ruckus over the plan of the Aquino government to suspend their "gas allowance", which was given as a result of their protest against the gas prices. Apparently, the allowance was to no avail, because they pushed through with their protest this past Monday, making the LRT and MRT trains look like a giant sardines can.
I have no sympathy for them whatsoever.
And I'll tell you why: It's because they're bastos.
The way they drive doesn't indicate they think they're king of the road, they think they're the only ones on the road. They have no concept of "right of way", especially the buses that ply the EDSA route, who think that that they are in Daytona whenever they go looking for passengers.
I personally had a harrowing experience years ago. I usually stay on the first or second lane (from the left) for real fear from these buses who have been known to run over people and then run away from the scene. If you think I'm exagerrating, just read this link, which details a recent accident involving three buses on EDSA, resulting in 2 injuries. (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/57947/2-injured-in-3-bus-collision-on-edsa-shaw-northbound)
EDSA is, what, 5 or 6 lanes? I was merrily going on the 1st lane (the fast lane) when all of a sudden, this bus came from the last lane (rightmost), swerved the bus at a diagonal into the first lane, and I had to stomp through my brakes in order to prevent a collision. Not content with that, the driver (male, of course) then decided to play "weave the road". The bus then swerved to the 3rd lane, then back to the first lane, then all the way back to the last lane, and then back to the 1st lane.
As expected, it resulted in very cross motorists. The bus came to a halt when there were passengers to pick up; if looks could kill, all the motorists affected had already blown him to pieces. And the driver's reaction? He started picking his teeth.
I'm embarrassed that this person has the same nationality as I am.
And reckless bus and jeepney drivers are the norm in this country, at least in Metro Manila. Buses use their size to "command" the road space, while jeepney drivers use their "cheapness factor" to do the same - I mean, if you had a collision with a jeepney, it isn't worth the hassle and the hand wringing where they play the poverty card - and you'd be better off just writing it off as an insurance expense.
And if you ever had the misfortune of getting into an accident with either one - I will include taxis in this group - what do they immediately say? "Mahirap lang kami, maawa ka. Kailangan ko pa pumasada para may makain ang pamilya ko." ("Have pity, we are poor. I still have to finish my route so I can feed my family.)
We are all working to earn a living.
We all have to feed ourselves and our families.
But I don't make that an excuse to literally run over people and cars.
It seems that our public transportation drivers must devour telenovelas in their spare time, as I have encountered at least 2 of them who could shed copious tears when needed (a.k.a. when the traffic enforcer or police is present) to make a sob story stick.
Unfortunately, that isn't going to work with me.
Does anyone have any concrete steps on what to do with these drivers? I for one am sick of them. I am sick of their disregad for everyone else but their pockets. I am sick of the drama involved whenever you have to face them after an accident - which they caused in the first place. I am sick of the way they swerve and cross the roads, as if we were riding bump cars. I am sick of them taking the government for a ride, getting subsidies and free gas allowances, and yet still have the nerve to stage rallies and complain that the government is not doing enough.
Enough is enough.
Revoke their licenses if it is warranted. Throw them in jail. Fine them so much that they would rather shut down their operations. This is not the time to invoke awa (pity). Something which we, as a culture, tend to emphasize in dealing with others, in order to get what we want or need.
To the Aquino adminstration, stop pandering to these transport groups. They are not the only votes you have to consider, not the only voices to be heard.
We, the silent ones, who sit idly by while these agents of death ply their business on our roads, we are sick of them. Of it. Of the entire situation.
And by the way, I am a taxpayer: Where's my subsidy?