Wednesday, 18 March 2009

From the Headlines

This from the Reuters news wire yesterday:

Driving lesson on runway, pilot averts crash

Tue Mar 17, 8:59 am ET

MANILA (Reuters) – A Philippine plane with 80 passengers aboard was seconds away from a crash when a man teaching his girlfriend to drive sped across the runway as the aircraft landed, newspapers reported Tuesday.

The Cebu Pacific plane briefly touched down at Legazpi airport in the central Philippines Saturday but took off again as the van being driven by the couple crossed the runway, the Philippine Star newspaper said.

The man is the son of a local aviation official, who has been ordered suspended from duty.

"It could have been a disaster if not for the presence of mind of a veteran pilot," Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal told the newspaper.


See what I mean when I say all those horrible things about drivers here?!

Nobody seems to know how to drive. Most people I know did not get their drivers licenses legally. All you have to do is slip a few hundred pesos to the people at the DMV and you've got yourself a license!

And here is a guy who can't even tell he's driving around on a runway that's in use, giving lessons in driving!

I gain my knowledge of the driving habits of Filipinos from observing their behavior at the intersection of Ayala and Buendia, where we live. At the average change of the lights from green to red:

-Four to five vehicles run the red light.

-Three or more make illegal left turns.

-Two will block the cross walk.

-Two to three jeepneys will simply stop just before or just after the intersection and wait until they can find enough passengers to make it worth their while to move on, no matter how many vehicles are behind them needing to move on. Usually a bus in the adjoining lane will do likewise (but not for as long), thus blocking two of the four lanes of traffic.

There's lots of money to be made here if the city of Makati were interested, especially on weekends when the offenses are even more egregious...but policemen don't work on weekends.

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