First saw it here but truly, this video is knocking some sense in some of us who like to speed
Take some time to ponder on the underlying message. More info here
(My usual rant of the irresponsible road users that I have encountered after coming back from a long holiday, so please bear with me)
(The face behind many road safety campaign – Datuk Suret Singh of Road Safety Department. Image source: http://protonexoraclub.blogspot.com)
Dear YB Datuk
I was not sure at first, who I should address this letter to since whenever we have major accidents on the road; too many people in high position open their mouth and want to be the champion for road safety in the country. There will be calls for stricter enforcement, others, to review the condition of the roads and vehicles but soon enough, such calls would die down and it will be back to business until the next tragedy.
Last week, I had a friend from overseas over at my house and we caught you in the news, making spot checks on express buses – you looked unhappy and seemed to be pissed off with the conditions of the buses. My friend upon seeing you told me that you looked tough, just the right person to check on whether traffic laws are followed. So, I guess, you would be the right person for me to bring up this.
In the past few months, you have been in the limelight when it comes to improving the safety of users on the road. Early this year, you even said that drivers who stop their vehicles to gawk at accident scenes can be issued summonses and there were many of us, applauded such calls. It was high time; the enforcement part of the law is strongly enforced on road offenders.
But before I proceed further, it will good if you could take a look at the below video and couple of photos (I have more in my collection, all of which, will promptly be handed over to JPJ for their action in due course).
Have you ever seen an express bus that is not only speeding above the speed limit but also using the emergency lane rather dangerously? No? Yes? All the time? Here’s one for the record – BLB 6396.
You tell me if this is how things are handled despite the recent horrific 28 deaths and during on-going Ops Sikap (which incidentally means Operation Attitude), how do you expect to reduce accidents involving public buses? Why bother having undercover JPJ enforcement agents riding along the bus? When you have speed demons who not only endangering their life with such reckless act but also of their passengers, it will not be a big surprise to see another 28 bodies lies on the tarmac.
And to show how blatant and irresponsible people are in place of lack of enforcement, just count the number of vehicles (including one from another country) abusing the emergency lane? Where is the enforcement of the highway laws? And the video here only shows a small portion of the highway where emergency lane ended up as the “fast lane” where one probably would wonder when PLUS opened a new lane.
And Datuk, considering the field that you are in, you would understand why I have been highlighting about these emergency lane offenders every time I came back from the holidays. Others may wonder why I take the trouble highlighting these “criminals” in emails, blogs, video blogs, etc. It is not like I am getting paid for it or getting some discounts or getting a kick for fun.
And I am pretty sure these offenders would have their day to answer for their inconsiderate act of “troubling” others and putting others in danger. It is rather easy to ignore the traffic that had formed on the emergency lane and just concentrate on the road ahead; hoping that the traffic jam that had formed without notice would just go away and one can be on their way without further delay, apprehension and waste of time and fuel.
I would have done the same if not for this:-
You see, in a 2 lane highway that passes by numerous exits and entries, a 3rd improvised lane is bound to create bottle necks at some point when those who using the new lane have to cut over and return back to the proper lane (often due to police block or broken down vehicle and not because they feeling guilty about it). And there is where the problem starts for other road users. who been patiently been treading the legal lanes.
The idiots (sorry to use this word but I am sure you will share our frustrations) at the emergency lane cut into the slow lane which causes the traffic on the slow lane to slow down even further. And when the slow lane becomes slow, some of us have to contend with moving into the fast lane which ends up as another slow lane.
Ok, never mind us – we still have the legal lane to contend to but what about the people who really need to use the emergency lane. With these traffic offenders speeding through the emergency lane at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, it has become too dangerous for anyone with a broken down vehicle to even park at the emergency lanes. Just imagine the scenario – you hear a weird sound from your car and the sound seems to get only louder. You decided that it is not safe to continue to drive, so you pull over and stop at the emergency lane. You walk behind the car to inspect on something and you suddenly hear a screeching noise and before you know it, a car slams you and pin you between the two cars.
And of course, I don’t need to highlight the use of the emergency lane for the fire & rescue and ambulance service when there is major accident on the highway. Just imagine the precious minutes wasted stuck behind these idiots who clog up the emergency lane for their own personal abuse. If someone dies due to delay of rescue vehicles, will these emergency lane offenders be charged with manslaughter?
So Datuk, as you can see, there is no point educating the general public on traffic rules – you only going to get traffic rules broken on a regular basis. There is no point making the necessary research on how to make the roads and vehicles safer. You are only going to waste time and money and given the conditions of the roads and vehicles in Malaysia, they are already above the condition of some countries with lower fatality rate than Malaysia.
The only way to ensure road users abide by the rules is to improve on the enforcement of the rules. As I watched the many traffic rules offenders abusing the emergency lane as I was traveling back, my only regret is that there was no enforcement officers on sight. There was no road blocks, there was no traffic policemen chasing and booking these traffic offenders – too bad, we could have made the killing in summons. There was nothing to stop the abuse. Perhaps summons have became too cheap for these frequent, hardcore traffic offenders. Perhaps getting home early was more important than being considerate and safe on the road.
Datuk, I am pretty sure you will share my concern here and I hope in the course of heading the Road Safety Department to be more efficient, you would look deeply into the area of enforcement and ways to tighten the loopholes. Change of attitude can also happen due to the thick, long stroke of the cane.
(A frustrated highway user)
Last Sunday was a tiring day….
(Don’t be an idiot and remain unnoticed to other motorists by not switching on the headlights. Image source: http://carcountrycreditcruncher.wordpress.com)
Saturday was hectic but it was almost a free day on Sunday, so we decided on the next thing to a good workout in a gym – shopping. We had our own reasons – my wife wanting to buy some cheap clothes for work (she intended to “capitalize” on cheap bargains during the on-going Christmas sales), me wanting to buy a bigger ext HDD (I am running out of HDD space fast) and my son, just wanting to go somewhere outside the house.
It was almost 6 hours of shopping & dining before we decided to call it and headed home. We walked a lot – you know how tough it is for the women to be satisfied with the choices available, right? At end of the day, my wife was somewhat happy with her purchase although it took some time for her to finalize the “final 3 T-shirts for work”, myself getting what I wanted (and more) and my son somehow unhappy for walking a lot for the day and not buying any toys at the end of the day (I tried to entertain his request but the chaos at the toys section, with Christmas around the corner, made us think twice of venturing into the place).
We were tired (but not hungry – we had a lot to eat – perhaps due to stress of shopping) and were felt relieved when we finally walked toward the parking lot. I noticed that most of the “in-coming cars” was wet and we could hear thunder in the distant horizon. I somehow knew that it is going to be a very wet journey home. However, it being a Sunday, I did not expect a lot of traffic on the road and expected a smooth ride back home.
It was pouring when we hit the road but it was alright until we reached Puchong IOI Mall area when the traffic was practically not moving. It was crawling – I suspected major accident upfront – after all, it was raining heavily and visibility was quite bad. As we moved up front, we saw the problem. Two of the three lanes of the highway were flooded, forcing all the three lanes to squeeze into a single lane. But once we passed this place, it was back to normal Sunday drive.
(Who is more visible in this photo? Image source: http://www.driveandstayalive.com)
As we were stuck in the traffic jam, we were able to see around us and observe how the other motorists were coping with the unexpected Sunday evening traffic jam in heavy rain and with very poor visibility and with a touch of uncertainty on what is causing this traffic jam. And one of thing that stood up quite “prominently” during the traffic jam is the part where concerned motorists switching on the car headlights so that they can warn others of them and them to others in that low visibility ride.
Interestingly there are 3-4 “dungus” with white / silver colored cars who think since it is still not night, did not opt to switch on the headlights. Perhaps the cheap bastards think that they can prolong the lifeline of their car headlights by switching on only when it absolutely needed. They continued to ride-on in the heavy rain without any lights switched on. There were (as predicted) 1-2 who panicked and switched on their hazard lights but then again, at least those idiots who switch on their hazard lights fared slightly better than those who don’t switch on anything. At least we know where these idiots are flying through in the heavy rain.
Thankfully the traffic was bad, so we did not have any “heroes” who are also speeding in the heavy downpour, low visibility conditions (to make things more “interesting”, throw in an idiot who is driving without any lights at the front). It is amazing on how some people put their fate (and theirs and others life) on their ABS-less, no traction control whatsoever, locally made cheap, tin can cars. It is “ok” if they are not aware of the effect known as aquaplaning but there is no doubt that the road is damn slippery. There is no doubt that when they slam their brakes, it is going to take a longer distance for their vehicles to come to a complete stop. There is no doubt that when this happens, we are going to have serious injuries all over the place.
Well, that is uncivilized Malaysian driver for you – always thinking on their backside when driving on the road.
(How often you have people behind the counter treating you like you owe them something? – Cartoon source: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/)
Just the other day, I watched the movie “Invictus” and noticed that Nelson Mandela (excellently acted by Morgan Freeman) was a very polite man. He was courteous and well mannered even to his “ex-enemies”. In case you missed Invictus, the movie was about a leader who was trying to get his country united – bringing people from various background, culture and race as one nation (this movie should be watched by some so-called leaders in Malaysia – they can learn a thing or two if their ego is not bigger than their brain) through the game of rugby (played by a majority white).
Somehow after watching the movie, something about Nelson Mandela being polite stuck with me. And I start to reflect on my daily encounters with people. No need to look at how some people behave on the road – using the emergency lane, cutting queues, changing lanes without proper signal, hogging the road, using no-entry lanes, etc – they are nothing but selfish filthy bastards. No, I am not talking about them – for them, we need the strong hand of the law to deal with them (either increased in traffic fines – screw that for now or one hard whack on their bare buttocks once caught red-handed).
No, I am talking about the people who provide goods and services. How they treat us, the end purchasers or users? Do we get to hear the all important “please”, “sorry” and “thanks”?
2 weeks ago, I took my family out for dinner – we decided to go for the Chinese Restaurant near our house (we love this place – the food is good and reasonably priced and if we order takeaways, we get free drinks). Unfortunately when we arrived, there were no empty tables. The restaurant was so pack with large families. We were about to leave when we noticed one large group had finished their dinner and was leaving. We quickly took over the table. On the table, it was a mess, left by the earlier group – we wanted the restaurant staff to quickly clear the table.
However due to the crowd, the restaurant staff was busy but the owner had noticed us and came apologising to us and explained on the situation and asked us to be patient. He said he will get someone to clear the table as soon as possible. He apologised again. Soon after one staff came over, apologising for being late to clear the table and immediately cleared our table. Another came down and took our orders and we did not really need to wait long for dinner to be cooked. We did not mind waiting for our dinner as we understood that the kitchen had to cope with large orders for the night. We did not mind because we felt appreciated.
A week earlier, I took my car for service to my usual workshop (the place where I am usually known as the boss). After I had parked my car, I came out and told the mechanic that I wanted to service my car. The mechanic looked back at the number of cars at the shop and asked whether I was willing to wait for my turn. I said I had no problem. The workshop owner came in and decided to help out to clear the cars – soon he was working on my car. Advice and suggestions were given promptly and he even pointed out to my tires which was almost bald. I wanted to also add the fuel booster and I informed him and he thanked me. Service was done up fast and during that time and until I left the shop, I lost count of the “thanks” that I got from the owner.
The above is two simple examples where the businesses are simply being polite to its customers and in return get customers who wishes to go back to the same place in the future (even if at times, the cost of items in these places can be more expensive from other places).
To be continued…
Let me narrate you a story…
You are at a special function. You have been sitting there for hours, listening to some boring speech and over-killed cultural show at the front. You realised that you are hungry and looked at your watch. You realised that there is only couple of minutes to go before lunch.
You tell yourself that you can hold on for couple of minutes more. You scan around and realised that you are nearer to the buffet table and therefore stands better chance to be one of the first in the line for the food.
“Ladies and gentlemen, lunch is now served, please enjoy yourselves” a loud announcement was made
You rush to the buffet table but not at the speed of someone is too desperate for food.
Just to be on the safe side, you even managed to chat with someone “on the way” to the buffet table. By the time you reached the buffet table and take your plate, there is already couple of people standing in front of you, digging into the delicious buffet spread. Looking at all the food on the buffet table makes you even hungrier but you able to maintain your composure.
You are inching to grab the food quickly and then go to a quiet corner when you realised the buffet line is not moving. You asked yourself “what is going on here?”
(Some people don’t realise it but when it comes to buffet and queuing, there are some unwritten rules. Image source: http://www.clairescatering.com/)
Have you been in a similar situation before?
I encountered one on several occasions and the reason why the whole queue was not moving was because of one person stopping at one of the dish – mix vegetable, picking and choosing the specific item (it was minced mushrooms) into his plate. He picked most of the mushrooms in the dish before moving on the next dish – chicken curry.
Good thing was he did not pick and choose the chicken bits but rather adding on gravy on a small, calculated measurement over the large gravy spoon. He paused for a moment before deciding that the “volume” of gravy on the plate is not enough and proceeded to add smaller, calculated amount of gravy. The right volume of gravy seemed to be very important for this person. This person was doing this in complete ignorance of the impatience, hungry people who were queuing up behind him.
This person next moved to another dish – mutton dish, stopping not to take a spoonful of it but rather start asking the caterer who was standing nearby on the dish itself – what kind of meat that was cooked (from local goat or Australian goat), what are the spices used, etc and somewhere in between, I overheard this person complaining about a bad experience with a similar mutton dish in another function (obviously with different caterer).
Whilst this person is asking the questions, he starts to probe the warm tender meat with the large spoon as if it was some weird experiment gone wrong. He presses the meat with the spoon, tries to cut it at several places and as if looking for some hidden treasure, starts to probe underneath the meat. Meanwhile, the queue at the buffet table just gets longer and more people were getting impatient to the point, some queue jumping started to happen.
Hungry and impatient, the thought of pulling this people from the buffet line and tell him to just grab anything to eat and move away did crossed my mind (several times) but before insanity get better of me, the person got his food on the plate and move away. All the sudden the queue started to move rather quickly.
(P.s. the “person” in the above story is a combination of several characters which I encountered as I waited patiently for these characters to move along so that I can get my food)
(Perhaps still angry with the laziness of people not using their indicators when they are on the road and the law is not doing anything about it)
I caught these photos over the weekend…
(The driver of the white Proton Wira – not only selfish enough to cut queue but rubs the salt on the wound by putting on the indicator. You think we will forgive and forget? Ya, right!)
(The lane reserved for bus lane becomes a short cut for the queue jumpers and ending up creating unnecessary bottleneck at the front)
It is true that this queue jumping bastards did not use the “emergency” lane to try to overtake the rest of the cars that has been patiently queuing up on the proper lane. So it would have been difficult to catch them on the act. But they were queue jumping nonetheless and that got me thinking about the quality of enforcement in Malaysia.
Let me tell another example. On my way back home, I encounter a junction where there is a clear “No Entry” sign posted but yet, I would see a long line of cars queuing to exit from this junction so that they can avoid going through the traffic jam in the normal exit lanes. There is another case that I hoping for a swift and strong enforcement.
Out of the many years passing by this road, I only saw once, a traffic policeman (who just happen to pass by) stopping the cars but instead of issuing ass-biting summons, he just ask the cars to reverse back and then left. Not surprisingly, soon after the policeman left, the queue at the ‘No Entry” junction was back. After this incident, many policemen have passed this road but often turn blind eyes to the long queue of cars on the wrong side of the road.
We have been talking about lack of enforcement for many, many moons for now. What is the exact problem?
Is it about the lack of enough personal to be running about enforcing the law? Well, it could be true – after all it is not easy to find a policeman when you really need one. Or is it about misguided and wrong targets of the enforcement agencies? I mean they could be letting the small offenders (unfortunately the bulk of the headache) to go and only spent their time and money to catch the big time offenders. Well, it is possible. Or is it due to too much of corruption practices running loose in the system that any effort taken to enforce the law is not effective at the end of the days? We all know the story of the coffee money in Malaysia, don’t we?
Just how many summonses have been issued on motorcyclists who ride without helmets in small housing areas or riding against the flow of traffic? How many summonses have been issued on drivers who use the emergency lanes as their private speeding lanes whilst the rest of the motorists patiently queuing up in the proper lanes? How many fines have been issued on people who throw rubbish on the ground just because the nearest dust-bin is not near them? What about booking developers who flout the safety regulations? What about those who do open burning and care less about the environment?
Ya, enforcement in Malaysia suck big time but it is not too late for improvement as this piece of news rightfully demonstrates:-
In fact, the department director-general himself has caught 93 drivers flouting the law on his way back to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday after spending the Chinese New Year holidays in his hometown in Kota Baru.
Armed with his camera phone, Datuk Solah Mat Hassan took photographs of drivers overtaking on double lines and using the emergency lanes and road shoulders.
“They will all get the maximum fine of RM300,” he said.
He even trailed two cars driven recklessly all the way to the nearest town before personally issuing summonses on the spot to the drivers.
“One of them was overtaking 10 cars on the double line,” he told a press conference at the department here yesterday. Since the start of Ops Sikap XXI on Feb 8, 200 undercover enforcement officers as well as RTD staff have identified 2,920 vehicles committing various offences.
People like Datuk Solah Mat Hassan should be respected for their no-nonsense stand against the road offenders but how many people in the enforcement agencies are able to do what Datuk Solah Mat Hassan doing? Do we have enough people? Are our enforcement rules and procedures in place for an effective conviction?
Whilst we asks these questions and ponder on how enforcement in Malaysia can be improved for the well being of people who follow the rules and procedures, if the enforcement agencies don’t buck up on their act (change of attitude is not easy) and the people failed to follow the rules, there will still be a cry for quality enforcement in this country.
This is what I usually shout when some idiots cuts into my lane without any indication whatsoever
(Ya, some idiots with big cars think that they are the king of the road and everyone else must back off. Screw them lot! Cartoon source: http://www.cartoonstock.com/)
After I had embarked on my personal ‘Overhaulin’ project, many things have changed – I have become more careful when I am on the road these days.
Gone the days when I used to be a speed demon, speeding up to traffic offenders to show my finger, fighting off with queue jumper for the right of way, riding up very close to the road hoggers and blasting them with my twin horns. These days, it is nothing but a cool drive with my similar cool MP3 player. Someone cutting queue? No problem – perhaps they have something urgent to do. Someone hogging the road? No problem – perhaps they are just retarded.
But there is one thing that I can’t stand is people cutting into my lane without any signals / indications whatsoever. Whilst I have been very careful not to bump into other road users, the same cannot be said of others. The last thing I want is for one stupid (aka bastard, moron, idiot and any deserving names) to suddenly cut lane and hit my car causing unnecessary heartache, damage and of course money to repair.
Why these morons just use their indicators? Every vehicle – from a small bike to the largest truck – has one. And yet, many choose to ignore to use. They think that the other drivers have special physic powers – able to predict when and how these idiots is going to cut into their lanes.
The morons who don’t use their indicators come in many shapes, sizes and styles. From my past experience, you probably have encounter with these morons:-
These morons will cut from the 3rd lane, drifting in one smooth flow, all the way to the 1st lane without any indicators. Yes, they are skilful in ‘drifting’ but at the same time, they are also skilful in creating a potential multi car pile ups in not one lane but several lanes.
The Indecision Fuckers
Ha, these morons probably top the list here. When there is enough space for them to cut in, they will remain in their middle lane, still unsure whether to cut into the fast lane or slower lane. And when just when you drive up to close the gap, these morons will suddenly cuts in, sometimes inches from your car. They would probably drive on your lane for couple of seconds before cutting back on another lane with the same indecision and again back to the fast lane, posing countless danger and anger to other road users.
The Cut First, Indicator Later
These morons comes in two variations – one that cuts in first, then for formality sake, puts on the indicator. Another cuts in first and when horned, puts on the indicator. There is no need to say more about this group of morons, likely to be forming the largest group of morons who are lazy to use the car indicators.
The Indicator means King
You know the rules of cutting into other’s people’s lane, right? You look in your rear mirrors and when it is safe, I mean really, really safe, you put on the indicators and move into the lane. Surely you won’t dare to move in when there is a big truck on the next lane, wouldn’t you, right? But not these morons – they switch on the indicators and regardless of traffic or not, regardless there is fast car on the lane or not, they just cuts in. For them, putting on the indicators means others must make way for them.
(No matter what vehicle you will be driving – it can a bike, motorcycle, car, truck, you still need to use the indicators to alert others. Image source: http://www.cartoonstock.com)
So, I don’t understand why some people are way too lazy to use the indicators. They just need to make sure that they use it. The more they use it, the more natural it will be for them to use the indicators. I, myself don’t even think about the indicators when wanting to change lane. My hands automatically press on the levers to indicate where I want to move. I don’t have to remember or remind myself on the indicators.
Of course until Malaysian drivers make the major leap to be a more professional driver, I have to continue to keep my eyes for those morons who think that they are driving on their grandfather’s roads and all other road users should just back off. Until then, “pakai signal lah bodoh!” (“use the bloody indicators, morons”)