Other than the low numbered plates menace, undisciplined drivers, ignorant and corrupt traffic enforcers, those who use Metro Manila's roads now have to deal with additional dangers like concrete road barriers, pink steel fences and concrete road separators.
At this point, nobody doubts that that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) had the best intentions when they installed the fences, barriers and separators. Traffic has long been a problem along the main thoroughfares that solutions have to be and tried. However, the dangers posed by the new systems installed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) had become so glaring that it needs to be seriously looked into.
In its defense, the MMDA claims there were only 84 out of 63,072 accidents or 0.13% since 2007 that are directly attributed to the road barriers. In addition, it claims that they have installed early warning devices to inform motorists of the “foreign objects” in the middle of the roads. Looking at the data in another manner, it means that there were 84 additional road accidents posed by new dangers called the road barriers, pink fences and separators. It also means that the road dangers in Manila has increased by 0.13%.
Why are these new installations in EDSA and other main thoroughfares a menace?
Epifanio De los Santos Avenue (EDSA) for instance, was built several decades ago. Until recently, the people using it only had other vehicles to contend with in order to get to their destinations safely. But now, they also have to deal with these barriers, fences and separators.
The separators are concrete rectangles (about 5 inches in height) placed parallel to the road that are intended to keep buses in the right portion of the highways. Since these separators are of the same color as the road, it is not very visible to people in moving vehicles that are already on the lookout for other dangers. It needs to come with sufficient early warning devices and adequate lighting at night.
Vehicles that run into these separators are in real danger of overturning the way cars in the movies do. Especially at night, when traffic is light and vehicles are considerably driven faster, these fences and barriers are only visible when already right in the face of the motorists. Suddenly swerving to the sides pose dangers to the occupants of the vehicle as well as other cars, while going directly at it is as close to fatal as an accident can get.
In regard to the claim that there are already sufficient early warning devices, many motorists beg to disagree. The supposed warnings are grossly insufficient, if not nonexistent. All that people know is that they drive in the highways and suddenly come face to face with the solid obstacles.
We beg the MMDA to add a lot of more warning devices. They should implement widespread campaigns that will inform people where there obstructions are and how to deal with it. The best intentions are not enough. As we all know, the road to perditionâ€¦