THE biggest debate on road use today is the implementation of the no contact apprehension policy (NCAP) being enforced by local government units, especially in Metro Manila.
One argument says there is no need for this policy because the infrastructure is incomplete; another says the violations caught on camera do not paint a clear picture, while one more argues there are too many different road rules in Metro Manila from the different cities for it to be truly effective.
In the case of incomplete infrastructure, it does not have to be thoroughly complete because there are still on-ground traffic enforcers. These traffic cops should be able to catch those not caught on camera.
For the second argument of the photo not painting a clear picture, what can be said about crossing a red light, parking in a no-parking zone, entering a one-way street or driving on a bicycle lane only? We are just used to arguing with enforcers and, most times, getting away with it.
But the uniform rule on NCAP is one thing I can agree with, simply because local government officials have — time and again — abused the power to enact local ordinances contrary to national rules.
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How hard it would be to have different NCAP rules all over Metro Manila where bike lanes are not uniformly enforced, or the number coding scheme different from city to city.
As a rule, traffic laws are uniform all over the world except for small differences like left- or right-hand traffic. But lane markings, stop and go signs, speed limits and such are basically the same.
However, in our country, some cities enforce traffic rules that are ironically different from established rules, like Makati confiscating drivers licenses when the national law says they cannot.
In order for the NCAP to be a viable deterrent to habitual traffic rule violators, it must be enacted with a complete and uniform set of laws and directives. The reason for this being that all cities and municipalities of the country use only one set and when we drive cross country, we do not have to memorize tens of rules from every city we have to go through.
But what about those towns that are not yet advanced enough to have NCAP? Are we saying they will never improve or progress enough to reach this point? The goal of modern laws is to allow later communities to catch up.
Congress should stop bickering over whether NCAP is or is not a good idea. It is a perfectly fine idea, one that goes together with the modernization of motor vehicles (from gas to electric, manual to automated).
There will come a time when cars are driven autonomously. Do we wait for that day to craft laws on it, just like we are struggling to craft laws accepting electric cars into our society now?
Would it not be better to have these laws and not need them rather than need them and not have them?