Un-Christian Motoring A Deep Dive into the Ethical Challenges of Driving

Un-Christian motoring

I’ve done some pretty wicked things in my younger driving days like driving (quite) fast and on a few occasions, even forcibly power-sliding a four-door family saloon going downhill from Antipolo or Baguio to poor effect.

These days, I just don’t feel the need for speed whenever I’m out on public roads anymore. I feel it’s just too unsafe and too immature to do those things on congested metro roads. I now follow a driving philosophy that I share with Top Gear’s James May – Christian motoring.

It’s simple really – try to be generally pleasant on the road. And no, I’m not trying to be a Jesus freak here. It doesn’t include having a rosary draped on your rear-view mirror or having a Sto. Nino statue glued on your dash. More of the ethics than the organized religion.

Anyway, a few pros for being a Christian motorist are that you’re generally safer since following rules means you’re driving at prescribed safe speeds and yielding to people means fewer accidents. And pedestrians appreciate you.

The thing is, even with a population of 80% Catholic, we have the most un-Christian motorists in the whole world. Let me point out some of the un-Christian motoring habits of our fellow Pinoys. (Feel free to add some more in the comments.)

Speeding and driving recklessly

  • Overtaking aggressively (even in yellow or double yellow lanes)
  • Not yielding to drivers’ and pedestrians’ with right of way
  • Not letting other drivers change lanes even if given proper signals
  • Swerving and excessively changing lanes (sing it, nang singer)
  • Asserting the right of way (complete with flashing headlamps)
  • Convoys (Yes, this applies to you, politicos!)
  • Stealing parking spaces or one-upping people for one
  • Parking at reserved spaces
  • Double-parking
  • Blocking people’s driveways
  • Honking at pedestrians
  • Honking at law-abiding motorists
  • Spraying pedestrians with rain water driving over puddles
  • Revving their siento-bente (tunog siento, takbo bente) tailpipes even in quiet neighborhoods
  • Turning their souped-up sound systems all the way up
  • Catching up with drivers and threatening them

Too bad for us, Christian motorists since not doing all of these things makes us doormats to those who do. And this basically is the con to being a virtuous driver. And it doesn’t really help if “Christian” also implies turning the other cheek. But who ever does? The philosophy only calls for being generally pleasant and not being a driving martyr. Now, if only I could find a way to send these un-Christian motorists to driving hell.

A friend of mine got apprehended for driving a car with an expired registration. And when he finally got his license from the LTO main office, guess how much he was charged? PHP 4,000, and that’s just for the base fee! He also had to pay a nominal amount for computer entry and such. That’s even more expensive than registering the vehicle itself (which would amount to about PHP 3,000 or so). Previously, driving an unregistered motor vehicle would only be fined PhP 900+. That’s a 300% increase!