Subject: The ugly Malaysian drivers
The accident involving the RapidKL bus plunge at Jalan Pantai, Kuala Lumpur,
is a reminder of the bad habits of motorists.
On any given day, I see cars cutting lanes abruptly with or without
signalling. The drivers of smaller vehicles seem to be more prone in doing
this, perhaps in an earlier life, they were on motorbikes, hence their
propensity of weaving in and out of lanes. Motorists overtake on the left
instead of on the right.
Motorists should not be allowed to change lanes within a prescribed distance
from a traffic light. Motorists do not keep a safe distance when driving or
when stopping. I am sure these are the rules in the Highway Code.
Motorists appear to be more oblivious of one-way traffic signs especially at
road lanes where shoplots/office units are located. This is dangerous as one
looks out for traffic in one direction and is often surprised by the
screeching of wheels or worse irate drivers coming from the opposite-wrong
end of the lanes.
It is more dangerous for pedestrians in these circumstances. Motorists do
not give way to pedestrians even at zebra crossings! On several occasions, I
had to thump the front of oncoming vehicles to make them stop at these
crossings. Divers swear with two fingers and hoot their cars in pathetic
It is quite insensible for motorists not to park their vehicles when they
drop their laundry or to get to an ATM or to have 'roti canai' and 'teh
tarik' at their favourite 'kedai'. This is despite the fact that there may
be parking bays.
I think it is very useful to have all radio stations set aside an hour or
two throughout the day to teach motorists traffic rules. Some stations have
done this. This should be in all languages. All schools should run road
safety campaigns and education. Children should be able to inform their
parents about responsible driving. Road safety pamphlets can be given out
periodically at petrol stations or by traffic police.
The PDRM and its road traffic police are federal officers. I live in a
Pakatan Rakyat-ruled state. I sincerely hope that the Pakatan government
explore the ways in improving the discipline and effectiveness of personnel
involved in maintaining road safety at state level.
There should be ways where Pakatan can explore ways of ensuring that the
federal machinery servicing the state will do better. Taxpayers in that
state contribute to the common salary system of these officers.