Safer travels: How one turned an accident into an act of community service

·3 min read

Garnet Driving School’s tagline, “Your journey to a safer road starts here,” encompasses owner Cyril D. Velasco’s life philosophy. He believes in the precautionary measures that must be imposed to enhance road safety for all. His advocacy in educating Cebuanos about the importance of discipline in driving is attributed to a motorcycle accident he encountered in 2014 that permanently injured his right wrist and cracked his right cheekbone.

Cyril shared during an interview that the motorcycle accident he unfortunately encountered on Father’s Day 2014 changed his life and the way he viewed road safety altogether.

“Since I am a victim of an accident caused by reckless driving, I don’t want other people to be victims as well,” said Cyril. “I always described this business as a learning ground. We are not just a requirement. We are educators.”

Cyril also shared that his mother company is a proponent to four LTO (Land Transportation Office) offices and is directly involved in the services and requirements required: insurance, medical and motor vehicle inspections.

Since it is a requirement to attend driving school and pass a course in order to obtain a driver’s license, he thought it to be a great opportunity for business. Not only that, he could also raise awareness on the importance of road precautions.

Developing a phobia is a natural trauma response to an accident as dangerous as the one Cyril had encountered. He disclosed: “Whenever I’m driving, I can’t help but think what if I get into another accident? What if I don’t make it this time?” These thoughts are what constantly plague his mind.

What puts Cyril’s mind at ease is his inclination toward educating Cebuanos not just on road safety but also on the dire consequences of not properly learning the mechanisms of driving.

In fact, one of Cyril’s projects involved placement of accident toll boards in an accident-prone area at the Transcentral Highway in Balamban, Cebu. Though it may appear extremely morbid, it makes people realize how finite life is. This incites more caution on the part of motorcyclists and drivers.

To give back to the community, Cyril has started scholarship programs in Garnet to help those who cannot actively avail the services his driving school offers. He particularly underscores those people whose livelihood is centered around driving and are not able to acquire a license due to financial restrictions.

“My heart is always for those in need. I want to leave this earth affecting lives,” Cyril said.

The journey to a safer road starts at realizing the safety of others is just as important as yours. Cyril is able to place emphasis on the fickleness of human life—One moment, you could be driving with your windows rolled down, singing your favorite song as you speed through the road and the next, you could be in a stretcher, on your way to the emergency room. In strongly advocating for road safety, Cyril is able to help people cruise securely through life on the road.

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