Private car owners and drivers are being warned of the unscrupulous bundol-bundol gang: people who pretend to be crossing your lane during slow moving traffic and then would suddenly drop on the pavement, acting like you hit them with your vehicle. They will cause a scene and demand that you compensate them for the injuries you caused them.
If you haven’t heard of this modus that’s quickly spreading in Metro Manila streets yet, then this article is for you.
Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, we observed how our parents would incessantly beep their horns when passing through thickly populated streets and villages. They would also make an effort to drop their speed to 20kph, or even less, when driving through such areas to avoid hurting small children who may be playing in the streets. It was widely known then that children were taught to hurl themselves before a slow-moving vehicle and pretend to have been hit by the car. Scenes like those could get pretty scary because once the kid cries foul, you will be surrounded by bystanders, all demanding that you step out of your vehicle and cough up some cash to pay for the child’s injuries.
A lot of unsuspecting drivers fell victim to this modus operandi back then. The bad news is, these guys are doing it again and in more dangerous areas such as EDSA and McArthur Hi-way!
They are now more popularly known as the Bundol-bundol Gang, and they are causing as much mayhem in our streets now as they did back then. They have also upgraded their act with props and more drama because it’s grown up men who do the acting now, instead of kids (that part is good news!).
To help you get acquainted with the modus, without experiencing it first hand, here’s how they carry the act out:
- They usually attack during slow-moving traffic when vehicles are running at minimum speeds (20kph or less).
- A guy suddenly appears on your left and pretends to cross your our lane like a regular pedestrian. He will suddenly drop on the road like a dry leaf, right in front of your car.
- Other times, they will hurl themselves on the hood of your car to make it look like you hit them while they’re walking.
- In both cases, they will be armed with props to make the situation look realistic:
- Sometimes they carry a red liquid that is supposed to look like blood and would smear this on the hood of your car. They would have the same bloodstains on their temples, legs, arms, and parts of their clothes.
- Or they would have a small plastic of rice to spill on the road when you hit them; this adds to the drama of bumili lang ako ng isang salop na bigas dahil yun lang ang nakayanan namin… tapos nabundol na ako ng rumaragasang kotse…
What hasn’t changed is their purpose for doing such sordid, morbid acts: to get money from people. The person will stand up from his fall, limp his way to your car window, or create a scene on the road, accusing you of being a heartless, reckless driver who ran over poor old him. He will of course demand that you compensate him for his injuries and for nearly killing him because of your carelessness.
What to do when this happens to you on the road?
- Under no circumstance should you step out of your vehicle, especially lady drivers who easily get emotional with such commotion.
- Call for help by beeping your horn; if you can, call 911 for police assistance.
- Only when you are with the authorities should you begin communicating with the injured person. Offer to take him to the hospital if he should insist that he is hurt and needs help. Do not offer money.
- Remaining calm and collected will help you think clearer and communicate smarter. Do not let yourself get carried away by the scenario; expect to see more people coming out of nowhere the moment the injured person starts making a scene: the man’s wife, his kids, his kumpares, etc. Don’t get intimidated; instead, continue asking for help while safely locked inside your vehicle.
Always stay on the safe side when faced with a situation on the road. Keep your phone within arm’s reach so you can call for help easily. A dash-camera will also help you document incidences without prejudice, so invest on a good unit the soonest you can.
And always, never leave home (or school, or the office) without letting others know where you’re headed or who you’ll be with. Leave someone accountable of your whereabouts, all the time.
Drive safely and defensively.