Personal safety – part three
By Constable Rey Olazo
In the last edition of your Pulis Kababayan, we discussed about the Reduced-Speed School Zones (RSSZ), which is being enforced right now within the duration of the school year (September-June). For some it is an irritating revision but for the majority, especially for parents, it is an added assurance that our children will be safe in their travel to and from and while they are in school. In this edition of your Pulis Kababayan I will be clarifying some salient part of the RSSZ and the rest will be the continuation of our personal safety discussion.
Concerning the new RSSZ, there is a lot of confusion arising from reading and identifying the signs and the difficulty of breaking the habit of the day to day speed within the 171 schools that were declared under the RSSZ.
Karamihan sa mga eskuwelahan situated on a major road way (eg. McPhillips Street, Pembina Highway, Portage Avenue and Main Street) ay hindi nakasakop sa RSSZ ngunit mayroong mga school na situated sa secondary feeder roads (eg. Burrows Avenue, Sinclair St. at Jefferson Avenue) ang sakop ng RSSZ. Isang magandang halimbawa ay ang Faith Academy (Grade 5-12) sa Jefferson Street na nasa ilalim sa RSSZ ngunit ang eskuwelanhan na Victory School (Kindergarten-Grade 5) ay hindi sakop ng bagong reduced speed zone. Karamihan sa mga kababayan na aking nakasalamuha ay nalilito dahil sa paiba-ibang panuntunan ng bagong batas. Ang sabi nila ay “Bakit ang eskuwelahan na mayroong mga mas batang estudyante ay hindi nasasakop samantalang ang mas may nakatatandang mga estudytante ay sakop?”
Mayroong mga parameters na ginagamit ang ating local na pamahalaan in consultation with the Manitoba Highway Traffic Board kung paano isasailalim ang isang School sa RSSZ. The best bet is for us to be cautious and read the signs along the route that we are traveling. I would like to reiterate that the maximum allowed speed in an RSSZ here in the City of Winnipeg is set to 30 kph at upang maging mas smooth ang implementation ng RSSZ ay mas makakabuti sa ating mga kababayan na tumawag sa 311 just in case we observe signs that are not visible due to the manner of placement along the roadway, such as being blocked by tree branches and hydro posts, which make it difficult to be seen by motorists.
Sa mga nakaraang edition ng aking kolumn (before the RSSZ) ay aking tinalakay kung paano tayo magiging safe sa pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay at paglalakbay sa ating vibrant na siyudad. In this edition I will brush up on how to be safe while we are travelling by bus or driving our personal vehicles.
For our kababayans who travel by bus, it is safer to wait for our ride in well lit and busy bus stops, lalo na kapag sa gabi na kung saan kakaunti na ang mga tao sa kalye. Here in Winnipeg mayroong mga street people ay natutulog sa mga bus shack na hindi busy sa gabi o kapag lumamig na ang panahon. If we encounter aggressive street people in at a bus stop or a bus shack, don’t engage them in an argument that might escalate to something that is unpleasant. Instead, just phone 911 for police assistance in case the situation becomes volatile and physical. Commuters should be familiar with the bus number of buses on their routes so that making a “just in case” more realistic and adaptable.
Every bus in the city is equipped with surveillance cameras sa loob at maging sa labas ng bus kung kaya’t lahat ng pangyayari ay namomonitor. At kung sakaling mayroon violent incident, ang kapulisan ay mabilis na nakikilala ang mga taong involved. Bus drivers are equipped with radios and cellular phones, which give them the capability to make emergency communication with the police or other emergency services in case a situation arises. If abuse or harassment takes place within the bus or in its immediate vicinity, our kababayans should report the matter to the bus driver who is trained not only in driving but also in how to react in certain types of emergency situations.
It is important for commuters to be mindful of the people who get on and off the bus with them, kasi kung sakaling mayroong sumusunod sa atin ay madali nating madetect ito at bago tayo bumaba sa bus ay makakabuti na isecure at icheck ang ating mga dalahin upang walang tayong maiwan sa bus.
Here in Winnipeg, the majority of people are honest and trustworthy; they usually bring things that they find left inside the bus to the driver. However, there are also some incidents wherein valuables inside the purse or bag are removed before being returned to the driver, or worse, thrown in a garbage bin.
For those who travel around the city using their personal vehicles, it is a plus factor to know the existing traffic restrictions and road situations in our usual routes para mas maiplano natin ang ating oras. Being aware of the traffic laws such as impaired driving, the ban on the use of cellular phones and other hand held electronic devices while driving a vehicle, and speed and parking restrictions, will spare us not only of some headache but also sakit sa bulsa from ticket fines.
Kapag nagpark na tayo ng ating sasakyan, mas makakabuti na siguraduhin nating secure at locked ang ating vehicle. We should consider parking in well lit parking lots and streets. Also, don’t leave valuables such as purses, cellular phones, laptops and money in plain view, kasi marami ang insidente na binabasag ang salamin ng sasakyan para makuha lamang ang mga ito. And the worst is that a loonie or a toonie might cost us our MPI deductibles for the window replacement or other consequential damages arising from the break and enter of the vehicle.
Hangang sa muli mga kababayan, pagpalain nawa tayo ng Diyos.
Constable Rey Olazo is a member of the Central Traffic Unit of the Winnipeg Police Service. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. For urgent matters that require Police response call 911. For non-emergencies, call (204) 986-6222.