Saturday, October 29, 2005

Rush to Death

This is in The Star today :

The bad weather and bad habits on the road took 15 lives on the first day of Ops Sikap IX, the festive season's accident-prevention drive.

Twelve of those who died were speeding motorcyclists. A pillion rider, a van driver and a car passenger make up the total.

In yesterday's Star :

PETALING JAYA: Accidents do not just happen by accident. They are caused by carelessness, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.

Chan, who wished everyone a safe journey during the festive season, said 95% of errors made on the road involved the driver or rider and urged road users to change their mindset and accept responsibility for their carelessness instead of blaming others when accidents happen.

“The word selamat is said daily in our greetings but its true meaning has faded away. It means safe rather than its common perception as ‘good’, happy’ or ‘merry’.

“If we recognise the true meaning of our everyday greetings of Selamat Pagi and Selamat Petang,then we do not need to undergo a safety change process.

“All we need is a safety ‘realisation’ process as change can only occur with ‘realisation’,” he said in a special message in conjunction with next week’s Deepavali and Hari Raya celebrations.

On Tuesday, 12 people died – nine motorcyclists, a motorist and two pedestrians.

Chan said this was an “unnecessary tragedy as grief and pain can be avoided if all positive action is taken to change our behaviour when on the road.”Of the 95% of errors, Chan said 67% was caused by human error and 28% was a combination of human and contributing factors while the remaining 5% was due to technical or mechanical factors.

“In most cases, the problem is due to the driver or rider. Therefore, the solution lies with us and with our attitudes and behaviour.

The way some people drive, especially motorcyclists, it would appear as though they are rushing to their death. When will they realize that humans are not invincible? That a collision can result in loss of life? That accidents don't just happen to "other people"?

Every year the traffic police launch Ops Sikap during the festive period but the accident statistics don't seem to abate. This operation is aptly named because it boils down to our attitude (sikap), doesn't it. Treat the road like it's your grandfather's and that you're an indestructible machine, and you may just end up being a statistic.

Selamat Jalan.


Kak Teh said...

lydia, this is what i worry most - by now most of my siblings are driving back. and I wont rest until i hear they are safely at their destinations. and then, the same anxiety when they drive home...Even if we are careful but others are not - what can we do? what is the rush for?? your title shd be used to deter these reckless drivers.

KK said...

It's common that many people are still dunno how to use highway such as cruising on the priority lane; phoning while driving; crowding at the entrance; paralleled driven lorries ........

dr in the house said...

Eachtime I see a motorcyclist weave through in between cars left and right at great speed, this thoght comes into mind: Don't these people feel the slightest love for their life? Don't they appreciate at all the luxury of being able to live a life? Their reckless ways just indicate that they don't mind dying anytime as long as they get their momentary 'pleasure' of immitating evil knevil! aalborg said...

every year, the same problem. Why is it so difficult for them to be a bit more civilised and patient on the roads?

Jade said...

oh.. in today's NST... it says, "Attitude kills, not speed".

ps: a belated thanks for gracing my blog... ;-)

Lydia Teh said...

KT, yeah, the anxiety can be real teruk. We have to assume that other drivers are "bad" and drive defensively.
p3p4, right you are.
Dr : my exact sentiments
ailin, patience is scarce on the road
L. Jade : that's why Ops Sikap. My pleasure:)

The Visitor said...

the other day i was going to a clinic nearby, about 10 minutes' drive...along the way i witnessed more than 10 traffic offences ... yes, i deliberately kept count...that's two offences in less than a minute.

Lydia Teh said...

Visitor, so observant of you. U mean you saw 20 offences? That's 2 offences in less than 1 min. 10 offences for 10 min is 1 offence a min.