In this place I call home, the road traffic is so horrendous vehicles are super slow, or at a standstill every few meters. Seatbelts therefore are irrelevant, with absolutely no reason why they were ever manufactured.
But in the US of A, where vehicles fly on the freeway, one has to be held safe by a seatbelt. Ay, there’s the rub. I had been so used to ignoring seatbelts, I kept forgetting to strap myself.
My grandson, Adrian, had to remind me, every single time:
If I counted all the times he said those words, they’d run up to hundreds as we couldn’t go anywhere, during my month-long vacation, without getting inside a car.
With Adrian’s prompts, I began to equate plane seatbelts to road-vehicle seatbelts. They were invented for the same reasons—protect both drivers (pilots) and passengers from injury or even death in case of accidents. I had to buckle up each time I rode a car.
Now back at home base, I shudder as I see danger—in all the public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as jeepneys, buses, and taxis with passengers not wearing a seatbelt. The Philippines’ Seatbelt Law (implemented in 1999), which requires every passenger to use a seatbelt, is the most violated rule of the road.
One of the reasons is, most PUVs do not provide seatbelts. And, as was my reason for years, the traffic hardly moves, so why bother?
Yet, here is an 11-year-old boy who knows all about respecting laws. In fact, when he was eight (he was in the Philippines for a visit), in the car with Tony and me, he called the attention of our driver, “Kuya, you just ran a red light!”
Traffic rules are devices put in place for our protection. We need to obey them to experience safety—just as we need to recognize and receive grace to experience God’s promise of protection.