Aggressive Driving among College Students; (Conclusion).(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, September 14, 2002 | Go to article overview

Aggressive Driving among College Students; (Conclusion).(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


Byline: Isagana F. Yuzon, D.P.A.

ON the basis of the finding, the following recommendations are forwarded:

1. Give driver education the importance that it deserves. Driver education must be a concerted, integrated, developmental and continuing effort, encompassing the whole gamut of society, to develop a consciousness which underscores proper and courteous road use as the concern and responsibility of every motorist. While it imposes the don'ts, it must emphasize the do's and doables. It should veer away from its punitive tradition and stress discipline, cooperation and self-sacrifice.

Firstly, there must be realization that the rapidly deteriorating traffic situation, especially in Metro Manila, will have ill effects not only on the country's economy but more importantly, on the health, safety and well-being of the people.

Secondly, there must be recognition that Filipino drivers are not congenitally undisciplined. Their behavior on the road is symptomatic of a system characterized by widespread deprivation, socio-economic disparity, political manipulation, cultural identity crisis, and unabated corruption and criminality. The conditions being so, this behavior, with proper nurturing, guidance and encouragement, can be reshaped and redirected.

Thirdly, there is need to develop a new Filipino road culture grounded on the country's historical background, cultural heritage, traditional values, economic realities and national vision.

2. Establish an effective driver education system. To be effective, driver education should be a sustained and continuing program. One study recommends the development of a cost-effective two-stage driver education program that is an integral part of a graduated driver licensing system (discussion of the system is found in the succeeding paragraphs). The first stage would provide basic vehicle handling skills, and the second step would provide for other safe driving skills including enhanced decision-making to reduce the risk-taking of young drivers. The effort also includes developing procedures that will extend the role of parents, and other adults, in the process of educating and training new drivers.

This idea is based on the view that beginning drivers are often not prepared to benefit from the safety instructions in driver education. Some students may be preoccupied with achieving the end product - a license - so that important safety information is ignored. For others, learning to drive and maintaining basic control of the vehicle are themselves so demanding that safe driving concepts cannot be assimilated. Thus it is advisable to enhance driver training following initial licensing and after some driving experience has been gained.

Moreover, a driver improvement feature should be incorporated. This applies to young operators who become involved in crashes or who are cited for traffic violations. A driver improvement classroom course should be designed for young graduated drivers and for traffic violators under the age of 25.

Others have suggested that driver education can be considerably improved through careful human factor analysis of the driving task to demonstrate empirically just what makes experienced drivers safer and what makes some drivers more at risk. Through research, behavioral skills identified as important to effective driving can be incorporated in instruction programs.

3. Integrate driver education modules in the school curricula. Among the three (3) E's of traffic management - Engineering, Enforcement and Education - the third is the most neglected aspect. It is not surprising, therefore, that in previous studies conducted on public utility drivers, ninety-eight percent (98%) have low level of knowledge of traffic laws, rules and regulations. The existing modes of learning to drive and knowing traffic laws, rules and regulations - through self-study, friends or relatives and driving schools - have not effectively imparted the appropriate knowledge to drivers. …

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