Sunday, December 16, 2007

EncounterS with MMDA Traffic Officers

My wife and I went to Mandaluyong to settle some stuffs. With the mushrooming of SM Malls and other gimik places down South (Alabang, Paranaque, Laguna and Cavite), we found little need to go to Metro Manila except for trips to MOA and in this case, buying the property rights of a house and lot that we want to convert into a five star apartment (apartment na may limang parol sa harap, hehe). So off to Mandaluyong we went.

Careful no to be caught violating traffic rules, I drove along the middle lane of EDSA all the way from Magallanes interchange to Shaw Boulevard. I want to turn left in Shaw but left turn is not allowed there so the plan was to turn right in the intersection of ESDA and Shaw then use a U-turn slot not far ahead. I continued driving along the middle lane of EDSA so that when I make a right turn in Shaw I would not be caught swerving. But driving in the middle lane near the intersection of Edsa and Shaw spelled disaster (for me at least). Apparently two of the three EDSA lanes there (67% of EDSA) are only for buses, taxis, etc. so all private vehicles should merge and squeeze in the leftmost lane (sadly, the remaining 33%) - which I did not know due to the lack of signs to guide promdi motorists like me. After a long discussiong with an MMDA officer, he gave me a 500 PhP fine for driving in the bus lanes. Then I asked his about my plan to turn right in Shaw then make a U-turn and he said it was OK.

But after the u-turn and while crossing EDSA along Shaw, another MMDA officer flagged me down. "Now what!?" I asked. He told me that all vehicles in the left lane should turn left and I did not so now I'm in trouble - again. With my blood pressure rising, my ears red and my nostrils fuming I showed him my "mainit-init pang violation ticket" and told him, how can I not take the left lane after the U-turn when traffic is at a standstill and the middle and right lane are full of cars. He even advised me indirectly to just cut into those lanes (which if I did I need to do rudely and quickly because the U-turn slot is very near the intersection). And if I am a driver in the other lane I won't be happy when a car cuts in. But apparently its the right thing to do. With my ears red I asked the officer to get in the car so I can "demonstrate" how bad it is to make a U-turn and immediately cut into the middle lane where my car's length would easily stop the traffic in 2 lanes. He then would have to back me up if the drivers in those lanes get angry. But he did not get in the car and just let me drove by with my ears still red. Grrr!

I hope you learn from my experience and take the correct lane near the intersection of EDSA and Shaw. And if you get caught, pay your fine in any Metrobank branch anywhere in the Philippines within a week from when your ticket was issued. You have to go personally to the MMDA office in Manila if you want to pay later than that.

Huli Ka

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yesterday was the second time i drove our car - alone. And it was yesterday that I was caught by a traffic enforcer- for the second time. my violation? disregarding the traffic sign along Katipunan that a lot of driving students misses.
i didn't argue with MMDA guy because he was very professional when he talked to me. He explained almost immediately my violation and even graphically pointed out my mistake. He told me my rights and reminded me of my responsibilities.
great guy. hopefully, all traffic enforcers are like him. @>-