Thursday, December 22, 2016

The worrying trend of road etiquette in Singapore

The number of serious accidents on Singapore roads is disturbing.

I commute between three cities – Melbourne is where I call “home”, Kuala Lumpur my “second home”, and Singapore is where I work.

Few observe traffic rules in Kuala Lumpur. The inclination is, when you see traffic light turning yellow, you depress your car’s accelerator harder. And don’t expect vehicles to stop for you if you are a pedestrian on zebra-crossings. You may be mad at being “locked” out by someone who double-park besides your car? Wait until you face with a triple-parking situation! And motorcycle riders are so suicidal in zig-zagging at high speed from everywhere. You must be an idiot to follow speed limits there; cars from the back will impatiently honk you to drop dead!

Being one who has been living in Melbourne for years, I have learned to respect the road rajas in Kuala Lumpur. In Melbourne, very rarely you experience situations where people don’t observe road rules or courtesies. So you can confidently step into the zebra-crossing box even though a vehicle is seemingly coming your way. HE OR SHE WILL STOP FOR YOU. Knowing that Malaysia has still light years to go in this respect, I act defensively in Kuala Lumpur. And I have yet to get into trouble with the road rajas there.

I had always assumed Singaporeans are the most law-abiding people on earth – until I was cut down by a cab driver while doing my morning walk one day. My wife and I had waited for the pedestrian crossing light to turn green before we stepped forward. But half way through and out of the blue, a cab driver sped straight onto me. I had to spend forty-eight days in hospital and undergo ten surgeries!

After the incident, I decided to become more observant. Oh no; many Singaporeans drivers are just as bad!

I stay at the Cairnhill area; the number of drivers who were trying to beat red lights around the area is simply beyond reasonableness! One day I telephoned a traffic police inspector to tell her that a small lorry was still trying to cross a certain busy thoroughfare even though his side of the light had already turned red for some good seconds. The inspector appreciated my informing her, but she said she just couldn’t do anything if I did not want make a formal police report.

I honestly think the traffic police have to revise their SOPs. An inquiry will definitely instill fear and eliminate thoughtlessness. This will go a long way to cultivate civic-consciousness and reduce pain, sufferings and death!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Misfortune Struck...

Not even in my wildest dream that this could happen to me. And it happened!

My wife and I were having our usual morning walk on August 7. It was a Sunday. The sky was bright and weather pleasant. We had to cross Scotts Road before we hit Cairnhill Road where our apartment is while we are Singapore. The traffic light was red when we reached the pedestrian crossing. When it turned green, we step forward. There was no sign of vehicle coming from the Cairnhill direction.

Half way through, I saw a vehicle speeding towards us. My wife was quick to reach the road divider. I was not hit head-on by the vehicle and landed on its bonnet before being bounced off to the road. It happened so fast, I couldn't remember exactly how it happened, but my left ankle was bleeding profusely.

The cab driver - totally expressionless - and me on the road!
It was a Comfort taxi. The driver did stop and come up of his vehicle. But he did not offer any help at all. The screen of my iPhone had shattered. One of the lady passer-by helped to take a couple of pictures and summoned help. An ambulance came; there was nothing in me to identify myself, since we didn't usually carry anything when we went for our walks. I was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

I thought it was a small cut on my ankle. Little did I realise that my heel pad had been sheared off! That was the beginning of my nightmare - 48 days in the hospital and 10 surgeries. I don't want to remember the hellish time I spent in the hospital. Unfortunately, the reconstructive surgery to my heel pad did not work, although the fracture to my ankle did heal by itself.

But now I can only walk with a limp, not to mention the scars that are not left on my thigh and ankle.

For those who want to buy 4Ds

The ugly scars on my left thigh

I have to live with this?