Pope Francis to traffic agents: “Be more merciful”

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Pope Francis met with directors and officers of the Italian Transit and Railway Police in the Vatican this morning. 

“Railway police wear a uniform woven with strength and passion. Today, 373 men and women make up the Transit Police.”

The pope urged them to spread awareness of the serious consequences of not paying attention while driving. He said traffic fines are not enough, but rather there is a need to better educate the public on road safety. 

“We have to make people aware of the lack of a sense of responsibility among many drivers who sometimes don't seem to realize the serious consequences of their inattention. For example, the inappropriate use of their cell phones or their recklessness.”

Although Pope Francis thanked them for their work, he asked them to be merciful to offenders and to use their power without resorting to violence under any circumstances. 

“Being merciful is not a synonym for weakness nor does it require the renunciation of the use of force. It means, in your position, being capable of not identifying the guilty by the crime they have committed, eventually hurting them and creating a sense of vengeance.”

Even though the pope doesn't drive, he frequently travels by car. No one knows the importance of respecting security measures more than him. 

When Pope Francis traveled to Colombia in September, some pilgrims rushed the popemobile, the driver stopped, and the pope hit his forehead. It was a minor scare, but it could have easily been a tragedy. 

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