Traffic is a common occurrence throughout the entire world, in one form or another you will encounter it on your daily commute or on your leisure trips out of town. While Filipinos do spend countless hours in traffic, we have developed a few bad habits that need to be curbed. One of these bad habits is counterflowing. We use it as a way to get ahead of the other guy to save us a couple of seconds. 

While counterflowing may seem like a quick and easy solution to get ahead it does more harm than good. It can even be the cause of some accidents that can result in damage to property, injury, or even the loss of life. With that said, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t counterflow and why it isn’t worth the possible time saved.

pulled over

If you do get caught with a counterflowing violation be ready to pay a hefty fine. According to the Metro Manila Development Authority’s list of traffic violations, it is one of the most expensive fines you can get. The list of fines for a counter-flowing violation is as follows.

  • First offense: P2,000 and a three-month suspension of your driver's license
  • Second offense: Are another P2,000 with a six-month suspension of your license
  • The third offense: is yet again another P2,000 but this time your driver’s license will be revoked

Wait, there is more. Your vehicle could also get impounded for 30-days, and you will have to pay a fine of between P3,000 to P15,000. P3,000 for motorcycles, P9,000 if you own a light vehicle such as a car, and P15,000 for trucks. 

edsa traffic

As the saying goes it only takes one match to start a fire, with that in mind, the same can be said for traffic and for people who counterflow. It only takes one driver with the bright idea to counterflow for a whole bunch of others to follow suit. This can result in major traffic jams especially if there is a bottleneck ahead. Not only does it remove an extra lane from the opposing side but it causes more issues as drivers will need to merge back into their proper lane causing more hassle for others.

car accident

Going against the flow of traffic will also carry a risk with it. This especially holds if you're going to counterflow on a two-lane road or a bridge. Doing this will increase the likelihood of an accident especially if the oncoming car is coming fast and doesn’t have room to brake. It can also be dangerous on blind corners as the oncoming vehicle has no way of knowing you are there. With that in mind, it's always best to stay in your lane and wait with the rest of the traffic.

Take note that overtaking and counterflowing are two very different things. Overtaking allows you to safely and properly get ahead of the vehicle in front of you and implies that there is no traffic up ahead.

Car insurance

When you counterflow you put yourself and your passengers at risk. As accidents are unpredictable and knowing the nature of a counterflow, you may end up in a head-on collision with another vehicle. Now, if you are lucky enough for the accident to be just a minor fender bender, your car insurance premiums may increase. This is because, while comprehensive insurance does cover own damage, claims for said damages can’t be done especially if they are considered to be intentionally done and with recklessness in mind. These claims can then be denied by your insurance company. 

counter flow

While many Filipino drivers may consider counterflowing as a form of “diskarte” it ultimately does more harm than good. Patience is a virtue that many do not have but it's worth it especially when it comes to traffic. We will all get to where we need to go and in a safe manner if we stick to the road rules. Proper driver education is still a long way from happening in the country, however, we should always follow the rules regardless if they are convenient to us or not.

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