Wisdom > Spoiler

Should we feel sorry about a guy who lost his job for driving recklessly?

A driver was fired by his company after sideswiping an elderly and disabled pedestrian

It’s time to protect the sanctity of the pedestrian crosswalk. SCREENSHOT FROM RNOLD GARCIA

Yesterday, we posted a video showing a vehicle grazing an old and disabled man on a pedestrian crosswalk. Predictably, people who saw it were livid. They wanted the driver to be held accountable for his actions.

Fortunately, the name of his company was visible on the vehicle. So, the Internet sleuths started tracking it down. Indeed, they easily found the Facebook page of the firm, and began tagging it.

So clear was the identity of the company in the video that there was no way it could deny responsibility for the incident. It had to take action, for sure. Fail to do so and the public was ready to condemn it. Which would have been bad for business.

Today, the general manager sent us a letter detailing the action that they had executed after having conducted an investigation. It included the termination notice that they had served the driver.

Is the disciplinary action fair? You be the judge. LETTER FROM FACZ TRUCKING SERVICES

Here’s the thing. After reading the termination notice, I genuinely felt bad for the driver. In my mind, I was questioning whether he deserved to lose his job over the incident.

(I can almost see and hear you sneering right now and half-screaming: “SERVES HIM RIGHT!”)

Then I realized that my sympathetic reaction is precisely what is wrong in this country. Madali tayong maawa. And more often than not, the sympathy shifts to the guilty party after he/she receives his/her punishment (assuming punishment gets to be served in the first place).

I also realized that the driver could have seriously injured an elderly PWD. It’s time to take pedestrian safety very seriously. No amount of remorse could bring back a life.

The general manager told us that the driver had only been with them for “two weeks.” If this is true, then a driver like that could potentially damage the reputation of the company. Not to mention the fact that the driver didn’t report the incident to his superiors—which was a company policy.

Do I still feel bad for the driver? Honestly, I can now sleep peacefully knowing that the video post resulted in disciplining a reckless driver. As to whether the penalty is commensurate with the wrongdoing, I choose to leave that up to you.

The lesson: Be on your best behavior on the road—you never know when a camera is aimed at you.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.