You know that cheesy song about children being our future and letting them lead the way? If you do, you’ve just betrayed your age. If not, well, those lyrics are true. How else is the overall driving condition going to improve if not through the younger generation?
I will be the first to admit that I’m a pretty jaded driver when it comes to the traffic situation in Metro Manila. I’ve come to realize that the sooner you accept the grim reality that is EDSA, the more bearable it will be. And don't even get me started on those videos and photos that document road rage and idiocy that our Facebook newsfeeds are bombarded with. It’s scary out there, so I’ve decided to just fly below the radar when I’m at the wheel to avoid any and all potential traffic altercations.
It’s a crazy world we drive in, so no wonder some of the younger folks are afraid to get behind the wheel. But you know what? We wanted to change all of that. Thus, Top Gear Academy was born. We wanted to address the lack of understanding of the road rules, share lessons in proper road etiquette, and hope to eliminate road rage.
We have selected 12 young individuals to be the first batch of students to undergo a special driving school curriculum course with A-1 Driving School, and with safety seminars by Ford and Bridgestone. The specialized curriculum includes classroom sessions and hands-on driving behind the wheel of Ford EcoSports equipped with Bridgestone tires, and fitted with Polaroid dashcams provided by Blade to document the experience.
The plan is to equip these young drivers with skills that they need to become positive examples among their peers. And you know what? Maybe even to other drivers on the road, young and old.
Top Gear Academy has been ongoing for the last two weeks now. You can get to meet Gab Moreno, Marj Ramos, Antonio Cruz, Chelsea Ronquillo, Gabie Uy, Pauline Ibuyan, Arnold Angeles, Clarisse Ronquillo, Mika Delos Reyes, Miles Sy, Hannah Sy and Alia Neri at their graduation ceremony on October 1, 2016, at Bonifacio High Street.
I may be an old dog who can’t learn new tricks, but the enthusiasm of this batch of Top Gear Academy students has gotten me infected. Trust me, we can learn a thing or two from these guys. If all drivers can have the same positive attitude that they do, then the motoring world will be a better place.