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Bikers, car owners deserve same respect

  • Written by Itchie Cabayan
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 287

Undeniably, definitely and without an iota of doubt, what road rage suspect Vhon Tanto had done to gaming attendant Mark Vincent Garalde, killing the latter in cold blood over a traffic feud, was wrong. Very wrong.

I saw on television how a group of bikers expressing sympathy for Garalde, a colleague of theirs, while strongly addresssing motorists to respect bikers and their rights when it comes to the use of roads.

Without causing any offense and in deference to Garalde and the unfortunate incident that befell him, bikers should also seize the opportunity to educate their ranks on road safety and, yes, in exercising respect for motorists too, the same kind of respect they want from them. At least this way, Garalde’s death would have served a bigger purpose.
   
Being a motorist myself, I have lost count of the number of bad experiences I have had with bikers and riders, not to mention drivers of public utility tricycles and pedicabs as well. A lot of them really act like they own the roads and have a talent for raising blood pressures.
   
They cut without regard for traffic lights, traffic signs and simple road regulations, occupy portions of roads not meant for them thus exposing themselves to danger and would cuss if you admonish them for sideswiping your car or hit any portion of your car due to their reckless driving.  And when their attention is called, the most common line you would hear is ‘yabang mo, porke naka-kotse ka!’
   
Only if you own a car will you be able to fully understand the kind of ‘bad trip’ feeling one gets if you figure in an incident with a biker or a rider.
   
Just like how a rider or biker would badly feel if his brand new bike -- or even used -- is scratched or damaged due to recklessness of people who seem to not give any damn, car owners are also entitled to their own feelings and reactions.
   
Car owners should also be afforded the same kind of respect that bikers and riders want from them. Admit it or not, a lot of bikers and riders take refuge in the fact that they are usually perceived the underdogs. When an altercation, incident or accident occurs between, let’ say a bike rider and a car owner, chances are, people would presume that the car owner is at fault.
   
Just recently, I was making a U-turn in a busy area when a bike rider suddenly cut me at an unbelievable speed. If I did not slow down or take a second look at the side mirror and the road on my right side, I would have hit him.  Imagine, instead of the bike watching out for cars, it’s the other way around!
   
Also recently, I saw a car owner and a motorcycle owner arguing. I learned that the motorcycle was parked in such a way that the car owner would not be able to enter his car, even if there was enough space for the said motorcycle to park properly.
   
When the motorcycle rider returned, the car owner told him that he should not have blocked the driver’s side. Instead of apologizing, the said rider was mad as hell and, you guessed it right. His line was ‘ang yabang mo porke naka-kotse ka!’  To my surprise, the car owner retorted: ‘Ikaw ang mayabang! Naka-motorsiklo ka na nga lang mayabang ka pa!’
   
Fortunately, security guards arrived and pacified them, avoiding another potential Tanto-Garalde incident.
   
I also bike and whenever I do, I make sure I do it right, without stepping on the rights of other road users.  I do not cut, near sideswipe or bike in any manner that I would be posing any form of risk to myself and to others.
   
Respect on the road and restraint on temper when driving any form of transportation must be exercised by all users. And  I mean all.

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