THE OUTCRY has dissipated. The Department of Transportation has deferred the implementation of RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.

    So, all’s well?

    Not quite to this corner. Especially as the deferment is but a temporary relief to allow some fine tuning, not to the law, but to its implementing rules and regulations.

    With the ADDA, the government agencies impacted with that universal notoriety for corrupted imbecility – read: drivers’ licenses and registration plates paid for but unreleased for years, colorum buses and way-out-of-line jeepneys proliferating unchecked, the fixity of fixers in their premises, etc. – exercised sound judgment finally, albeit, as it turned out, with no finality.

    For, not even one who is in his sanest least dare see driving safety in texting, or hand-held phoning. And yes, in sipping your Starbucks concoction too. Much, much less in women – and others – making the rearview mirror for a Max Factor or Revlon compact.

    The DOTr agencies are absolutely right in pushing the ADDA to make driving safe, and the road safer. Honest.

    And, contrary to the shrillest opposition to the implementation of the ADDA, I find rosaries dangling from rearview mirrors as indeed distractive. The most distractive, in fact, of all possible distractions to driving. Honest.

    But do I wish that rosaries be included among the ADDA prohibitions? Nah!

    As theirs is the distraction that is not in any way destructive, and, au contraire, most constructive, indeed holy-istic.

    Instinct turns ballistic at a loaded gravel and sand dump truck that nearly runs you to the gutter – by a mere glance at the rosary comes a remembering of la primera de las siete palabras of the Man hanging there – “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”

    Homicidal thoughts at jaywalkers crisscrossing the highway, unmindful of the danger they pose to motorists and to themselves, totally mindless of the safety provided them by pedestrian overpasses –

    Murderous rage at jeepneys routinely stopping in the middle of the road to load or unload passengers, turning the outermost lane under overpasses into terminals, complete with callboys, er, barkers, insensibly oblivious to the changing colors of the traffic signals there –

    Premeditation of pulverizing all tricycles hogging the fast lanes holding traffic to a crawl in national highways –

    Amid all that, traffic aides either looking the other way or in absolute toleration if not active encouragement of the blatant violation of traffic rules and regulations!

    All these ruminations of mayhem, the rosary appeases with that same salvific plea for the ignorant, the idiots and the imbeciles on the road.

    Then there’s that reckless daredevil of a motorcyclist that cut across your lane forcing you to a screeching, jolting halt just a kilometer back now sprawled like a bloodied broken ragdoll across the road, his big bike a tangled mess smacked into an acacia tree. Serves him right! Less schadenfreude than malevolent glee one feels at his karmic deserts – turning into instant remorse, the rosary reminding one of the prayer He taught us: “…forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” And pray more for his full recovery and fast healing.

    Caught in a traffic jam kilometers-long under the noonday sun of a sweltering summer – sheer suffering meriting the worst damning. Just about to do Duterte’s pu…ina spiel, lo and behold, the rosary – and come to mind the Sorrowful Mysteries, daggers that pierced the very heart of the Virgin Mother. Aye, what doth thou suffereth now but the lightest of the crosses to bear in one’s quest to be His follower.

    And in that air-conditioned torment, find sudden empathy with the sun-grilled traffic enforcers desperately trying to untangle the gridlock: Theirs is the sufferance, mine but a slight inconvenience. God bless them!

    Distracted from road rage, by the rosary, delivered from sin as well. There’s the one distracted driving we should all engage in.

    Be there ADDA or the usually useless DOTr agencies’ ada-da-da, ado-do-do inanities.


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