(A typical day in Bangkok roads – this picture was taken on a Sunday morning)
You know the drill. Every time you drive to or from work, you listen to the traffic report in the radio.
The traffic report every morning and evening is really helpful especially when there is an accident involved somewhere and the traffic jam gets worse. You will know which roads to avoid and which alternative roads to take. It is a service that I don’t mind tuning into when I am driving but if you have ever noticed, there is a little problem with what is being reported.
If you can recall, this is the usual reporting that we often hear every morning:-
“It’s a bumper to bumper crawl along the highway near TUDM…the Federal Highway near Angkasapuri is congested in both lanes…Traffic is slow at the cable bridge near Motorola”
You see, the problem here is that we know that it is a bumper to bumper crawl along the highway near TUDM. We know that the Federal Highway near Angkasapuri is congested in both lanes. We know that the traffic is slow at the cable bridge near Motorola. This is because we are either on that particular road at that moment or that is the usual road that we take to go to work, so it is not a big surprise to know that there is traffic jam. One may even say “Biasalah” (that is usual).
(A typical day in Malaysian roads – this picture was taken on a Saturday night at traffic lights)
Yes, of course the traffic report contains other information like road closure, accidents, stalled lorries (funny how often that happens) and it is very helpful but how often we hear that in the radios? Not much. Instead we have the “usual” reports with the “usual” roads & names mentioned – TUDM, Angkasapuri, Sungai Buloh, Batu Lancang, Penang Bridge, JB, etc. So, what’s new?
Sometimes, listening to the “obvious” reporting is irritating especially when you are on the mentioned road and cursing the queue jumpers in front of you.
Certain places will have its usual crawl in the morning and we do not wish to be reminded so by the morning traffic report. No body wants to drive through a traffic jam but unfortunately sometimes we don’t have any choice. Sometimes it seems like the whole of KL is in a gridlock. What we really want (other than reports on road closure and accidents) is reports of “unusual” traffic jam at this “usual” traffic jam prone areas.
This is what I have in mind:-
“It’s a bumper to bumper crawl along the highway near TUDM because at the end of highway, the 3rd lane is merging into 2nd lane because the 3rd lane is slightly flooded…Rahman called in to report that the traffic jam is heavier than usual along the Federal Highway near Angkasapuri. He has not moved in the last 15 minutes …Traffic is slow at the cable bridge near Motorola at the moment because a heavy excavator is using the fast lane causing most cars to switch to the slow lane causing an unusual bottleneck”
Now that’s what I would call as more informative reporting.
I am sure that the radio stations can get enough information from the police, highway authorities, local authorities, the radio listeners and their staff on the road to pick up the unusual traffic jams. With CCTV all around the main roads, they can view the situation and alert the road users almost immediately.
And please, it not necessary to report on the usual areas (like Federal Highway, Cable Bridge, LDP, etc), there are other places to be reported as well.
Tell us something that we the motorist does not know.
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