The view from a staffer’s desk

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Spark Plug - JEFF REYES TEAM PUB­LISHER jeff.reyes@sum­mitme­

We all know that Ja­pan did not be­come tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced overnight. This is a prod­uct of vi­sion, dis­ci­pline, hu­mil­ity and an un­usual taste for en­ter­tain­ment. Yes, even that last item helped.

A huge num­ber of the world’s best au­to­mo­biles are Ja­pan-made. In fact, my fa­vorite nos­tal­gic car mod­els are stamped with Ja­panese badges: Toy­ota 2000GT, Mit­subishi Galant GTO, Nis­san Sky­line and Mazda Fa­milia Wagon, to name a few.

Any coun­try that man­u­fac­tures such ex­cel­lent ve­hi­cles must also understand the re­spon­si­bil­ity that comes with it. Af­ter all, the Bible says that from whom much is given, much shall be re­quired.

Drive around Ja­pan and you will no­tice how cour­te­ous mo­torists are. For ex­am­ple, to them, flash­ing the head­lamps means al­low­ing the on­com­ing cars to go ahead and not the other way around. And when a driver is al­lowed to go ahead, he usu­ally turns on his haz­ard lights to ex­press grat­i­tude to­ward the other driver. Lit­tle ges­tures like th­ese make driv­ing plea­sur­able, and help ease stress brought about by traf­fic.

I’m not say­ing there are no cour­te­ous driv­ers here. We ac­tu­ally have a lot. But sadly, it’s quite dif­fi­cult to be con­sis­tently good on the road when the ma­jor­ity do the wrong things and get away with it.

Am I los­ing hope? Of course not! This is why I am de­lighted with this Ja­pan Is­sue. A dis­ci­plined coun­try mo­tor­ing-wise and oth­er­wise, de­serves the spot­light.

My prayer is that we Filipinos will all hum­ble our­selves and ad­mit that we can learn from some of Ja­pan’s good prac­tices to make our roads a lot safer. Kam­pai!

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