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Liana Smith Bautista, Contributor
March 02, 2010

Vehicular Villains: The People Who Make a Bad Commute Worse (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, we dealt with bum bus drivers, jeepney jerks, and train terrorists. Here we deal with the crazies in cars--both private vehicles and taxis. By Liana Smith-Bautista
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Last week, we showed you how to deal with the vehicular villains you encounter while taking public transport. This time we take a look at six more stress-inducing stereotypes:  the drivers (and taxi-drivers) who make our daily commute a living hell.


commuters_part_2_driving.jpgTHE TELEBABAD

Everyone knows you’re not supposed to be on the phone (either texting or calling) while driving. Using the phone while driving slows reaction time (especially if only one hand is on the wheel) and distracts you when the bulk of your attention should be on your driving. That’s what annoys everyone so much: you’re not just putting yourself at risk, but the people around you. If you’re guilty of this, buy a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone like the iTech Clip D Radio or the iTech i.VoicePRO so you can keep your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. Make sure the person you’re talking to knows you are driving—it’s polite to keep the call as short as possible and to save surprising or distressing news for another time.


Sure, you’re in a rush to get to where you’re going. So is everyone else. But you’re the only one making everyone compensate when you weave between lanes, sticking your car into every available opening. The risk to yourself isn’t something you think about, but you can be sure the people around you are thinking about the risk to their cars. And if you cause an accident while swerving, that will mean even more road time thanks to the increase in traffic you’ve inspired. If you’re guilty of this, try mapping your route and checking out alternatives so you don’t have to go through heavily trafficked areas. Better yet, leave early and remove the need to rush.


This doesn’t apply to actual grandmas—because if you’ve got grandkids and you still drive your own car, that’s six ways to awesome since too many of the older generation decide to give up their licenses (and with them, a measure of mobile independence). Instead, this title goes to you if you drive like a granny, inching along the highway as if your car has a severe case of arthritis and you’re afraid it will fall apart if you go past 40kph. That’s fine, and certainly your prerogative—as long as we’re not in the long line of cars crawling along behind you. If this is the way you drive, try finding routes with lighter traffic or staying off highways where you are expected to go fast. You may also want to consider going back to driving school so you can gain more confidence in yourself as a driver.


commuters_part_2_taxi.jpgTHE TAXI THIEF

Say you’re desperate to get a taxi, but when you make it to the curb, someone else is already trying to hail one. Do you walk a little and try to hail a cab a few yards away (so the cabs on your side of the road will see you before the other person) or do you wait until your fellow commuter catches a cab then catch the next one? Too many people “steal” cabs out from under others, and it can really frustrate the person who has been waiting longer. Show a little fairness and wait your turn. If cabs are scarce, find out where the other person is going—maybe you can share a cab if you’re going the same way, and you’ll save money too. Who knows? You might even meet someone interesting.


Just about anyone who’s had to take taxis has encountered this predicament: the taxi driver is willing to take customers, but only if they’re headed to places he wants to go to. Think there’s nothing you can do to correct this behavior? Think again. Report his behavior to the LTO Hotline or DOTC Action Center (more information at the bottom of this article) and he may be sanctioned for his refusal. Just threatening to report him may get you what you want, but make sure he can’t retaliate by taking you to your destination using a roundabout route—know how to get to where you’re going. To avoid this problem altogether, you may want to develop a preference for cab companies that have a no-refusal policy.


Some cabbies will refuse to take you where you want to go. Then again, some will take you where you want to go—but only if you pay a premium. These “dagdag drivers” will ask you to add an amount they may or may not specify to the basic fare (frequently 20 or 50 pesos, but this can go up to 100 or more). Other tactics may involve turning off the meter and charging you a flat fee. They may say they’re charging you extra because where you want to go is some distance away or they’ll have to sit through traffic to get there. These are not valid excuses. You can report these abusive taxi drivers to LTO or DOTC (more details at the bottom of this article), which may result in fines or a suspension of their licenses. Just informing your driver that you know he is not allowed to charge you extra may make him back off. You may also want to reward good behavior by tipping your cabbie if you know he took you a long distance or through a heavily trafficked route without complaint.

For more dope on terrible taxi drivers, check out Lourd de Veyra’s article, “Taxi Drivers from Hell,” on Spot.PH. You can also visit Alfredo Palconit Jr.’s blog entry on tips for getting a cab in the metro.

To report an abusive taxi driver, make sure you note down the date, time, plate number, taxi company, and (when possible) the taxi driver’s name (it’s best to do this for every taxi ride, and text the information to a friend as a safety precaution), and report these to LTO Hotline (921-9071) and DOTC Action Center (7890). Reported taxi drivers may face a fine and/or have their driver’s licenses temporarily suspended for their violations. If you’re in Makati, you can also report these to the Makati Command Center.

Stay alert on the road, and be considerate as well. Knowing how to deal with these vehicular villains will make you feel empowered and take the edge off your daily commute. Then you can keep your cool on the road and arrive in style.


Want to read the first installment of this two-part series? Check out the vehicular villains on buses, jeeps, and trains.


(Photo sources: sxc.hu--driving, taxi)

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  • Mary Mar 02 2010 @ 12:50pm Report Abuse
    I've encountered that! The taxi thief! Imagine nilampasan ako ng taxi kasi ung nasa likod ko Pinay na may kasamang take note:FOREIGNER Haaaay...bakit ba ganun ang mentality ng mga Pinoy!
    Last modified Apr 07 2010 @ 03:34pm
  • Bagel Betorin Mar 02 2010 @ 12:55pm Report Abuse
    aaah, there's a lot of this in LRT, I especially hate those who are "walking radio/mp3". Its as if I the people around also like their kind of music. Those who step on you and pretends that nothing happen is also annoying!!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Lourdes Espanol Mar 03 2010 @ 09:47am Report Abuse
    I've encountered the cabbie who is choosy with passengers and tries to negotiate the price with you. I just hate it.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • cyril Mar 04 2010 @ 06:54am Report Abuse
    i experienced a taxi thief, i was on my way to the airport, 5 am pa yun, buti nalang the cab driver refused to ride the taxi thief!he didn't open the door at minadali pa ang cab when the taxi thief was about to open the door! ha!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Dan Mar 04 2010 @ 10:27am Report Abuse
    Yeah. I hate Cabby Mapili! I want to report them all to authorities. Thety make our lives more difficult.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • mizhelle Mar 04 2010 @ 11:02am Report Abuse
    funny but true :)

    Last modified A long time ago
  • dogsrule Mar 04 2010 @ 08:13pm Report Abuse
    yan ang hindi ko namimiss sa manila, buti pa sa province di pa rampant yan.
    Last modified Apr 07 2010 @ 03:30pm
  • Kat Mar 09 2010 @ 09:21pm Report Abuse
    Hailing a taxi esp when I'm rushing is one of my so-not-favorite things to do. There are taxi drivers who will take advantage esp when they sense that you're in need of a ride. Others naman super choosy talaga. But still, there are still few left who are polite, not barumbado and not suspicious-looking. I always get paranoid pa naman whenever I ride a cab at night. To be safe, I ALWAYS text the plate number to my mom, sister and boyfriend. BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY right? =)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Karla Mar 09 2010 @ 11:04pm Report Abuse
    Big NO NO to taxi thieves!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • meeeow18 Mar 10 2010 @ 02:19pm Report Abuse
    Oooh.. I too don't like those taxi cab drivers who choose their passengers.. and same goes for markup man!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • anggeh Mar 12 2010 @ 11:22am Report Abuse
    I hate all of those people. I know para sa commute ang article na ito pero sana madagdag yung mga careless motorcycle drivers. there are those with no helmets. lagi pa silang siksik ng siksik sa sides especially if traffic. biglang nagcucut sayo that almost magkaroon na ng bangaan and if there was, they'll blame you pa. they may have only 2 wheels but they are considered 4-wheeled vehicles. they should follow the same rules. they should be behind a car not on the sides trying to get past all the cars and be at the front of a stoplight. very irritating..
    Last modified A long time ago
  • katiyay Mar 13 2010 @ 01:03pm Report Abuse
    really hate when i see people driving and talking on the phone (or txting) at the same time.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • deejay Mar 13 2010 @ 03:28pm Report Abuse
    Yikes, hate hate hate super singit. Not only cars who cut, but people who cut into lines as well, like pila sa jeep or sa mrt. grrrr.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • corazon lecaroz Mar 15 2010 @ 02:50am Report Abuse
    naku dami kong nasakyang taxi driver, hindi nga marunong magsukli, laging walang barya.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • marchineness09 Mar 27 2010 @ 02:28pm Report Abuse
    Off all the bad people enumerated here, I encounter the mark up man the most. It's as if the world owes them a lot for their services that you have the obligation to pay something extra to them aside from what the meter registers. Moreso, they take advantage of your need specially on times when there's a jeepney strike, rallies and the rainy season. How annoying!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Teresa Apr 08 2010 @ 06:12am Report Abuse
    may mga taxi driver talaga na mapagsamantala.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • january May 19 2010 @ 10:56am Report Abuse
    same here, i hate the taxi thief especially during rush hours and the cabby mapili is such a jerk.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • january May 19 2010 @ 11:08am Report Abuse
    i just read Lourd de Veyra’s article, “Taxi Drivers from Hell,” and i laugh when i read about "The Singer" cabbie. i encountered many of them every now and then.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • rybaxs May 19 2010 @ 05:13pm Report Abuse
    F U mark-up taxi!!!!!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • clermont May 31 2010 @ 03:10pm Report Abuse
    I ride a cab almost every other day so I developed patience and understanding specifically for them.

    For SUPER SINGIT, I just tell the driver "kuya hindi naman po tayo emergency" and give him a smile.

    If I get a "DRIVER LOLA", I just politely ask them "manong pwede po pakibilisan".

    Whenever I get a "THE MARKUP MAN", I also politely tell the driver na hindi ko na kayang magdagdag pa. If he doesn't shut up, I will ask him to stop the cab at baba na lang ako. Most of them will say "sige po ok na lang". Isang beses lang ako na totoong bumaba and it felt better. In this way, both of us will move on.

    If I get "THE TELEBABAD", I will just put on my headphones and keep my eyes on the road.

    I don't stress myself with THE TAXI THIEF and CABBY MAPILI. I'm a good tipper when I can give more, so it's their lost. I can wait for another cab that will bring me safely to the destination.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • LizCarpenter24 Jun 10 2011 @ 05:47am Report Abuse
    This is cool that we are able to take the home loans and that opens up new possibilities.
    Last modified A long time ago
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Liana Smith Bautista
Liana Smith Bautista was an editor with Female Network from December 2010 until July 2012. She now works part-time as a freelance writer and editor and helps run her family's beach resort the rest of the time... Read more...
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