Temas Especiales

19 de Apr de 2021


Courtesy - a cry in the wilderness?

At last, a citizen oriented initiative, to introduce courtesy to Panama drivers. Bumper stickers that ask people to surprise you and dri...

At last, a citizen oriented initiative, to introduce courtesy to Panama drivers. Bumper stickers that ask people to surprise you and drive courteously, or a message to the guy or gal behind you, that you are attempting to drive with care and consideration, so don’t bother to honk. This will be a direct message to taxi and bus drivers who want you to disregard all signals and plunge into the oncoming traffic. If you have an accident and need a friendly witness, the honker will be long gone

The program has been introduced by Carmela Gobern who publishes a web site Cyberspace News (www.panamacybernews,com)and is a worthy endeavor. Says: Carmela “We desperately need it here in Panama. Each day there are more and more cars, same roads, and the discourtesy is leading to more and more traffic accidents and loss of lives.” Maybe there’s some other worthy soul in Panama who would like to print a message, telling drivers they have an indicator signal switch in their car, unless is predates the early 50’s. Carmela can be reached at goberncl@cwpanama.net. But, sadly, the stickers will likely appeal to only a few drivers, who are probably already allowing other cars the right of way, are not jamming intersections at traffic lights, when there is no room to exit, do not lean on the horn at every opportunity and do not use cell phones when driving through Panama traffic.

As we have said so often before, initiatives and laws are usually only followed by those with a social conscience. The rest, from drunk drivers to speedsters, light jumpers, and illegal parkers demand ENFORCEMENT. The kind that should lead to the firing of a driver of an “official use vehicle” which on Sunday travelled the wrong way down a one way street behind the Contraloria, and then turned into the garage of that august office. Time for a CHANGE. Whoever finally is installed as the mayor of Panama could leave a lasting impression on the city and, if nursing bigger political ambitions, on the voting public, by pushing for rigid enforcement of laws in Panama City, speeding the flow of traffic in side streets and, at the same time helping to fill the city coffers with at least a percentage of the money raised from fines.

Litter Louts. Another fund raising idea for the city. Hand out fines to “litter louts” on the Cinta Costera. Within days of opening, the new window on the city to those who want to exercise, stroll or just people watch, is already a dumping ground for bottles, cans, plastic cup, ice cream wrappers and all the paraphernalia that litter louts use to leave their mark, like dogs doing their thing on fire hydrants. A team of park wardens, authorized to issue tickets for littering would have a salutary effect, and help reduce Panama’s shame. In the meantime the city should make a start by installing more litter boxes. The small fancy ones inviting people to recycle are great PR, but they won’t hold the volume of junk that is dumped every hour. One bright spot: I witnessed a jogger stop and pick up a plastic bag left near the fountains, and put it in a waste disposal unit (far away). Obviously not a member of the blind eye brigade; those who “so what” anything from Panama’s role as a major pornography distribution center to any societal breakdown that doesn’t directly affect their own lifestyle.