In his speech during his inauguration last June 30, 2010, Philippine President Noynoy Aquino mentioned that wang-wang (Filipino term for sirens because of the sound they make) will not be tolerated anymore and true enough, just 2 days after his inauguration, they’ve already caught a handful. Some were private citizens and some were government officials.
President Aquino followed through to what he said and he did not use any blinkers or sirens on his vehicle. He doesn’t even use the presidential car. He’s currently using his private vehicle to take him from his house in Times Street in Quezon City to the Malacanang Palace. He and his convoy follow traffic rules just like ordinary citizens. They stop at red lights, they do not counter flow, they don’t cut through traffic, etc. Although it could be risky since his car keeps on slowing down, his PSG (Presidential Security Group) is doing their job the best way they can to protect the president.
Why is it a big issue to a lot of people? A lot of people abuse sirens and blinkers. They use it to intimidate other drivers on the road. Let’s say a vehicle is stuck in traffic. He/she turns on the sirens to tell others to make way which is really unfair. We’re all on the same road with the same rules so we should all follow them. Some of them are private citizens trying to impress others that he/she has a siren. Don’t get me wrong. Government officials with escorts do abuse the use of sirens and blinkers as well.
Before this directive of President Aquino, motorists are appalled at the sight of government officials blazing through traffic with their escorts blatantly turning on their sirens telling other cars to move just to be able to ease through. Let me remind you guys that your salaries came from our taxes.
Sirens and blinkers are meant for emergency and special vehicles such as police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, authorized LTO (Land Transportation Office) vehicles and military vehicles. It is never intended to be used just for others to give way because you’re late or for any other personal purpose.
Regulation of the selling of sirens and blinkers should be implemented since you can easily buy one at a car accessories shop. It’s also quite cheap and easy to install. Based from the interviews min 24 Oras, there are opposing sides among the vendors. Some agree that these should be regulated but some complained since it may affect their business.
This is a small but a considerable matter for the president to take action on. The bottom line isn’t to avoid abuse of such devices but to instill discipline to drivers. We already have a very bad traffic situation especially in the metropolis and having different people abuse these devices for their own gain isn’t really helping at all.
24 Oras, GMA Channel 7 primetime news, July 2, 2010