Another vehicle fell off the Manila Skyway at dawn the other day. It was a commuter bus this time. What’s worse is that it landed on top of a closed van traversing the service road below. Parts of the crash debris also hit an unsuspecting bicycle rider.
According to news reports, at least 18 people died and a lot more were injured. The question that’s being asked now is who’s to blame for this tragedy?
Investigators surmised that the bus must have been traveling over a hundred kilometers per hour before plunging to its doom. One eyewitness said that the bus overtook her car, which she said was running around 80kph, just before it hydroplaned, lost control, hit the Skyway barrier, and fell off. The speed limit for buses along the Skyway is pegged at 80kph.
Other factors that might have contributed to the accident include the overall roadworthiness state of the bus and the capability of the driver (driver error).
Investigators are still looking into the possibility that the bus wasn’t road worthy. As for the driver error angle, it’s a well known fact that majority of the bus drivers plying through Manila’s streets are reckless speed demons. One reason why this is so is because their pay is based on the passenger fare that they collect, hence the inherent desire to compete with other busses to get passengers and to drive as fast as they can in order to make more trips.
This isn’t the first time a vehicle fell off the Skyway, and it probably won’t be the last – at least until drivers learn to be responsible and disciplined enough to follow road safety signs and observe good driving etiquette.
In the end, it falls upon the government to protect the general public. One way or the other, they have to ensure that traffic discipline is enforced as well as offending drivers and operators are punished accordingly.