Cebu's traffic woes are not solely the boon of motorists. The traffic solutions that must be created for Cebu must take a holistic approach. These should involved not only motorists but other road users as well, particularly pedestrians. In this post, let us explore how we can advance pedestrian safety in Cebu by educating ourselves about the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, as well as educating motorists about pedestrian rights as well. Hopefully, in our own little way, we can change the mindset of motorists in Cebu regarding how they treat pedestrians and guide them to obey traffic rules and regulations in Cebu more religiously. Hopefully, motorists who read this blog will also be converted into advocates of pedestrian safety on Cebu's roads in particular and the Philippine roads in general.
Pedestrian Safety: Be Educated About Pedestrian Rights
Pedestrians, who are also road users, have their own rights when using Cebu's roads. However, only a minute percentage of the population of all road users in Cebu are probably aware of pedestrian rights. And to those who are aware of these pedestrian rights, little respect is shown for them. Sad but true.
Pedestrian Priority on Crosswalks
Yielding to pedestrians on crosswalks is something that we must promote as a social norm in Cebu. Most drivers in Cebu have little respect for pedestrians using the crosswalk. The standard should be that vehicles should stop for pedestrians crossing the street on a crosswalk. But drivers in Cebu hardly stop for crosswalks. There exists a law but enforcement is nil.
Motorists in Cebu should also know that their vehicle should not be blocking the crosswalks. It is common to see vehicles stuck in traffic stopping directly on the crosswalks. Common courtesy to pedestrians in Cebu's streets do not seem to be valued by drivers.
Pedestrian Safety: Be A Responsible Pedestrian
Pedestrian safety is not the sole concern of traffic enforcers or of motorists. Pedestrians themselves must do their own part. Pedestrians, as a big chunk of road users, should also be aware of their own responsibilities as pedestrians.
Use Sidewalks, Designated Crosswalks, and Elevated Walkways
We encourage all pedestrians in Cebu to only cross at designated crosswalks and elevated walkways as well as use the sidewalk whenever possible and not walk on the main road. This is a basic premise in pedestrian safety. When using the crosswalk, you may raise your hand to let drivers know you are crossing the street. For visually-impaired individuals or persons with disability, you may raise a cane or an assisting device to signify you are crossing the street.
Follow Pedestrian Control Signals
Pedestrian control signals aid pedestrians in crossing streets at intersections. Following these signals will do a lot of positives for promoting pedestrian safety.
Most road accidents involving pedestrians happen because the vehicle driver did not see the pedestrian. It is important for pedestrians to make sure that they are seen by motorists when crossing the street. Cross only on well-illuminated streets at night or wear bright clothing.
Ride and Disembark Only on Designated Stops
When riding on or disembarking from vehicles, whether it is a private vehicle or a public utility transport in Cebu, do so only in designated stops. You will be doing both the vehicle driver and yourself a favor. By doing this, you help the vehicle driver follow traffic rules and avoid apprehension by traffic law enforcers. You are also least likely to meet an accident when you ride or disembark only in designated stops.
Full Focus When Using the Road
Give full attention to what's happening around when crossing the street. Refrain from other distractions such as using mobile phones and other electronic gadgets or chatting with friends.
Practice Disciplined Queuing for Public Transport
Specially during rush hours, we will make it a lot less stressful for a lot of us when we practice disciplined queuing. Everything will be more orderly, all passengers will be safer from the accidents brought about by pushing and shoving when there is no orderly queue, and loading and unloading of public utility transports will become more efficient thus making moving people to their destinations faster.