I have a confession to make. I am not the safest driver out there. In fact, calling my driving reckless would be something of an understatement. I hereby list the sins of the road that I am guilty of:
- Tailgating people who are “slow” e.g. driving in accordance with the speed limit
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
- Cutting people off
- Using the emergency lane
- Running red lights
- Using the horn and middle finger liberally
Hell, I once nearly got into a fight for the last one. I would have definitely had the crap kicked out of me considering there are three guys in the car but after a heated exchange we parted somewhat amicably. I don’t want to go all Hong Kong bus uncle and it wouldn’t have been pretty (for me) if they were obliged to violence since in the frame of mind I was in, I was all too willing to indulge them.
I’m sure a lot of us here in KL are under a lot of stress from work and often we take it out on the road. I am not proud of it but once I chased this MPV that cut me off on the LDP and swerved right in front of him to make him stop to get out of his car.
I don’t know what I was thinking coz I was in serious road rage mode but when I got out of the car, I realized it wasn’t just a man – it was an ENTIRE family, grandmother and kids et al. The man apologized and said he didn’t see me and that made me feel really bad. I was in his blind spot and I overreacted and I took my stress out on him.
I have tendency of drinking and driving as well, which is Really Bad (TM). I used to have a statement tee that goes “If I don’t drink and drive, how the fuck am I going to get home?” but there have been a lot of incidents that has given me pause.
My car has gone through so many accidents I couldn’t keep count. In fact, I totally wrecked my previous car in Kuching. I also ran down a pedestrian while running a red light on a zebra crossing which took me ages to settle while I was in Kuching. I’m so embarrassed of that incident I always tell people it’s a person (being vague) while in actual fact..
…it was an old woman crossing a low cost flat while buying groceries. I did not see her and the pedestrian crossing usually is empty so I didn’t stop. The bones in her right arm were all broken so they had to install steel rods. I still feel guilty about that incident.
Well, I guess that’s the trick isn’t it? What if it was your grandmother I ran down? Won’t you hate me and want me to burn in hell for all eternity?
My sister recently gave birth to my niece and I went down to New Zealand to visit them. It was eye-opening, the way she took care of her baby. She’s super safe, it takes her 15 minutes to setup the car for the baby to go in.
I don’t have to wonder how I’LL feel if my niece got hurt just coz a speeding drunk driver rammed into my sister’s car. I’ll take it REAL PERSONAL.
We flaunt road rules when we drive – whether it’s due to bad attitudes or plain carelessness but take a moment and think about others. I drink and drive and sometimes forget how I even got home and it scares me sometimes…what if I ran someone over? Someone’s wife? Someone’s child? Someone’s niece?
Malaysians are known to be rude on the roads but it doesn’t have to be that way. MUFORS (Malaysians Unite For Road Safety) is a big advocate of road safety and it’s a community project aimed at changing the mindsets of people about road safety. I’ve pledged mine.
MUFORS is also running a contest for students of institutions of higher learning (which means all you college and university people out there). It’s called MUFORS Road Reels and it’s a short film competition where you can speak out and capture your opinions Malaysian drivers (either negative or positive).
The MUFORS Road Reels contest aims to educate people that safety on the roads is up to the attitude of each and every driver (that means YOU too). It enables you to make the roads of Malaysia a safer place and change the mindset of drivers to reduce road accidents and deaths.
There are prizes up to RM 10,000 in each of the three categories and the closing date is 30th October 2010. You can find out more about this awesome initiative and contest at the MUFORS website.