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Belle Yambao, Contributor
 
May 19, 2011

Do you think standardizing bus drivers' salaries will make the roads safer?

A bill for giving bus drivers fixed salaries gets a closer look in the aftermath of a journalist’s death due to a bus accident. By Belle Yambao
bus.jpgJournalist and University of the Philippines professor Chit Estella-Simbulan was killed in a vehicular accident involving two buses on Commonwealth Avenue on May 13, SPOT.ph reports. She died after the taxi she was riding in was hit by a Guiding Star public utility bus (PUB) from behind. Before the collision, the taxi was also sideswiped by another bus. According to police, they suspect that the two buses were racing. As of press time, the Guiding Star’s bus driver, Danilo Espinosa, has still not surrendered.

In the aftermath of the incident, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casino notes how imperative it is to pass House Bill 3370, which aims to give PUB drivers and conductors fixed monthly salaries and steady eight-hour work shifts.

On GMANews.tv, Casino says this will help lessen the number of bus accidents, claiming that the roots of the problem are “poor working conditions and unfair boundary or commission-based systems” given by bus companies to their employees. “Drivers and conductors are pushed to compete with other buses to get more passengers. They are often forced to man graveyard shifts, with some driving for almost 20 hours a day,” the bill further explains.

What do you think of this development, FNites? Is standardizing bus drivers' salaries the solution to having less accidents and safer roads? Share your thoughts by taking our poll!

(Photo by Chokz via Flickr Creative Commons)

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Poll Question:
Do you think standardizing bus drivers’ salaries will make the roads safer?

  1. Yes, of course! If drivers have better working conditions and mandatory pay, then they won’t feel the need to constantly speed along highways.
  2. Yes. Since it will stop buses from causing heavy traffic, there will be less crowded roads and less chances of getting into an accident.
  3. No way! What we need is better implementation of traffic rules. Reckless drivers will still speed, swerve, and disobey the law with or without a fixed salary.
  4. No. They should submit bus drivers to mandatory safety and driving testing instead. Only those who pass should be allowed to drive buses.
  5. I don’t know. It would be great if this solved the problem, but there's sure to be more complications involved.
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