- Published: Friday, 22 July 2016 14:52
- Written by Administrator
- Hits: 485
There's no denying the fact that roads were built and more will be built, for motorized transport which makes it moot and academic to state that all other non-motorized transportation modes are at a decidedly disadvantaged position. In a general sense, once we ride any kind of cotnraption that can convey people from point A to B and use that contraption on the road, we become road users. However, being a road user implies ownership which practically means to Filipino drivers that they can do whatever they want, being "owners" of the road. This perspective lies deep in the Filipino drivers' psyche that for them, while on the road, they forego common courtesy and drive with gusto wherever and whenever they want, to the detriment and exclusion of all other road users, especially bicyclists.
In an effort to understand whether this phenomenon is only perceived in the Philippines, the writer researched and found the following research and results of investigations of road users in the UK. You can download and read the said report here.
Here below are some salient points of said study which we find are relevant to our country:
1. Cyclists do not, unprompted, feature amongst the main concerns of drivers.
2. When asked about cyclists specificall, most drivers had a low opinion of cyclists.
3. Driver annoyance with cyclists seems to be greater in congested conditions.
4. Drivers think that cyclists are unpredictable.
5. Those drivers who cycle seem to have a better appreciation of the issues but still adopt a driver's perspective toward cyclists.
The study concluded that from the driver's point of view, the number one cause of their concern was the perceived unpredictability of cyclists. However, the study also recognizes that driver's reactions or concerns can also "be attributed to drivers' own lack of skill" and that "drivers were far more likely to blame cyclists than identify their own limitations." In general, road users' attitudes towards others on the road seem to emanate from their own personal experiences. They are either sympathetic and understanding or not, based on whether they know how to both drive and cycle at the same time.
It's not easy to conclude what we have here in the Phlilippines. Unless a similar study is made no one can actually say what our maturity level is when it comes to being road users and road sharers. It would take a huge effort for both government and NGO's such as the Firefly Brigade to come up with such a study but it is possible.
What remains to be done is to do our own part when we are on the road, whether as cyclists or as drivers. Even if we can't expect others to be on our side, let us do share the road everytime we use it.