1:58 am PHT

So as I was driving home from work along EDSA Extension in Pasay early this night, I switched lanes from the one that goes into a U-turn slot to the straight-ahead route. (See the location in Google Maps.) Immediately after, I was pulled over by one of the Pasay City traffic enforcers that were manning the U-turn slot. He charged me with committing swerving. I protested calmly but vehemently saying that what I did was not swerving. I have read before that there’s really no such violation as swerving (a real related violation is reckless driving, but I wasn’t at all reckless) so I was prepared to fight it.

I gave him my driver’s license when the enforcer asked for it. He took a really good look at it before again saying that what I did was wrong and that I should’ve switched lanes 15 meters before the U-turn slot. I questioned whether there were any lane markings indicating such and all I remember seeing were broken white lines which means vehicles can cross, as long as they do it safely. He still insisted that I had a violation and so I demanded that he just issue me a ticket to end the conversation. Opening his ticket booklet, he declared that I will be charged with violating lane markings and showed me the name of the violation on the booklet manual. So it was no longer swerving and not anymore switching-lanes-too-close-to-the-U-turn-slot violation.

In exasperation, I stepped out of the car and walked back to the U-turn slot to see for myself the lane markings that I was supposedly violating. Lo and behold! There were no lane markings at all and only faint traces of broken white lines that were now mostly erased remain. I complained to the enforcer that he cannot charge me with violating lane markings that were not even there. He only offered in defense, “nabura na kasi eh.” ("It got erased.”) I gave him a piece of my mind about how it was not my fault that the lane markings were erased.

Maybe realizing that I will continue to question him, he conceded defeat by handing me back my license. Maybe seeing that I am a Villar living in Las Piñas City (though I have no relations with the Speaker) also helped convince him that he can’t really charge me. (I never claim that the good senator is a relative, but I always leave the implication on the table.) Having my license back, I got into the car and continued my commute home. My really good mood at listening to good music while driving was irreparably damaged by this incident.

Before you pile on the enforcer, I won’t say that he was extracting lagay (bribe) since he did not ask for anything and did not go into the spiel of how inconvenient it is to settle the violation. Maybe I did commit some traffic violation in whatever ordinance the councilors of Pasay legislated. But really, if I did do something wrong, why did he give up that easily? It was dinner time and they were probably hungry, so speculation remains, of course.

Moral of the story? Stay far, far away from U-turn slots, unless you’re going to make a U-turn.  :)

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On 10:11 a.m., 19 Jun 2007, Earl Robles wrote:

I had a similar experience when I was driving to SLEX from Makati. Still a novice driver then, I followed that sign, before Mantrade indicating the lane going south. As it appears, the sign was mistaken, if you take it, you will go straight to pasay. So I switched lanes and I was charged with the same thing, “swerving”. Having a bad memory (whether I followed the sign correctly), I conceded. So I gave my license willingly but surprisingly, the officer let me go. His reason – no more tickets. haha


Nice Blog you have here Eugene! I’m not really into blogging. I would rather write code, where the rules of syntax are precise than deal with the nuances of style in writing. Just let the compiler do the job, place some comments, then your done.. haha. a typical lazy geek. But It’s really cool to see EEE guys like you, who also write. Keep it up!

- Earl


On 11:40 a.m., 19 Jun 2007, Joni wrote:

Tsk tsk! Even though he wasn’t implying that you extract “lagay” I have a feeling he was after that. It wasn’t your fault na nabura ung lines noh. Haha. Sorry. I’m stereotyping.  :D


On 4:28 p.m., 19 Jun 2007, Jude wrote:

Though, I do not drive … I will take into account what you just shared. In the future, when I have my own car, it will definitely save the trip for me  ;)

Thanks!  :)


On 5:27 p.m., 19 Jun 2007, Mae wrote:

same with Joni, he’s expecting lagay that’s why he couldn’t pinpoint what your violation is! tsk  :(


On 2:00 p.m., 20 Jun 2007, aajao wrote:

i got 4 traffic violation tickets last year, 2006 and my license was just renewed last 2005. 2 of them were in Pasay, one coming from the airport, the other from MOA. kaya sobrang ingat ako sa area na yan


On 8:07 p.m., 20 Jun 2007, Miguel wrote:

I got caught in the same spot, when the MOA was new.


On 10:54 a.m., 22 Jun 2007, seav wrote:

@Earl, getting pulled over for the flimsest of reasons is really annoying, no? I like coding as well but I also seem to enjoy blogging, even though I’m not a trained writer.

@Joni and Mae, well, it’s all just speculation at this point. Hehehe  :p

@Jude, you’re welcome. But there are a lot more traps you should be aware of. So good luck when you do get to drive!

@aajao and Migs, I also got a traffic violation before in Pasay, but I really had the mistake of running through a red light. Never had other encounters in the MoA area. Now I’m taking care when I’m there.


On 8:48 a.m., 23 Jul 2007, celwinster wrote:

i have a question. me and my classmates were driving through that same spot (southbound, from taft cor edsa to that edsa extension) as we were heading to the cuneta astrodome to watch a la salle game. i thought i would have to take the service lane, so i kind of made a slight right turn, but on a second thought, i tink it’s a dead end so i moved back a bit then straight ahead so i can take the main road instead (roxas blvd) there was a chocolate boy (pasay traffic enforcers) waiting there like a vulture. he told me that i committed swerving as violation. well my question is, was it really swerving that i committed? or is it a sin to decide a bit late? moreover i didnt cause too much traffic since it was a sunday yesterday and no cars were following me or were approaching. i ended up paying him P200 (upon insinuating that he wants “lagay”) since my schoolmates just didnt want the hassle.


On 2:46 p.m., 23 Jul 2007, seav wrote:

Swerving is the default catch-all “violation” of these traffic enforcers. Try to fight and argue if possible if they immediately say you swerved. If you have a copy of a traffic violation ticket with you, notice that there’s no “swerving” violation listed!

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