Courteous Driving

I’ve always been an advocate of courtesy on the roads. That meant I won’t cut other people’s lanes unless it is safe to do so. That meant giving way to others, both drivers and pedestrians alike. That meant being patient on the roads.

That said, I utterly hate discourteous drivers. These drivers are largely self centred and thinks that they own the roads. Yuck!

From both my personal traveling experience and talking to my foreign friends, I have made 2 main observations. First, Singaporean drivers drive too fast. They always seem to be rushing from place to place. Second, Singaporean drivers have bad road manners and don’t often give way. Of course, I’m stereotyping here. There are also nice drivers in Singapore.

I believe in reciprocity. If people are nice to me, I’ll be nice to them. If I want people to be nice to me, I’ll be nice to them first. And this brings me to my number one pet peeve on the roads. Signaling.

I always signal. Once in a blue moon, I may forget, but 99.9% of the time, I will always signal, even when there are no cars around. I believe it is basic road courtesy to let other road users know in advance what I plan to do in the next few seconds.

Therefore, it follows that I will always give way to a driver, if he signals in advance that he needs to turn into my lane.

It also follows that I will not give way to a driver if he didn’t signal in advance. I take a hard stand on this. If I see a driver intending to change lane but did not signal his intention, I will not slow down nor give sufficient space for him to do so. If he does try to force his way into my way, I will not hesitate to high beam and sound my horn at him. These people really need to learn the proper way to interact with other road users.

I had an encounter several days ago. My car was stopped at a junction and I was turning right. After the right turn, I will be turning left, so I positioned myself on the left lane, leaving the right lane empty. The space behind me was empty too. I was the only car at this junction at this time. A red taxi came. He stopped to my right, on the right lane. The traffic light turned green and we both moved off.

In the midst of the right turning maneuver, the red taxi started making attempts to cut into my lane in front of me. He was only a quarter car length ahead of me at this time. I checked, no signals. I didn’t give way. He sped up but still didn’t have sufficient space to enter my lane. Still no signal. I refuse to give way. If he had intended to be in my lane, he should have just lined up behind me before the traffic light, and not try to force his way in this manner.

He sped up further and cut into the lane in front of me. I sounded my horn to indicate dangerous driving on his part. Immediately, he started playing brakes. Talk about bad manners. He did all these while there was a passenger in his car. I ignored him and put some distance between our cars. Apparently, he had wanted to turn left after the right too. Later on, when our cars passed each other, he promptly showed his middle finger. Bad driving manners, bad service provider as a taxi driver, and bad personal conduct.

We can really do with less of this type of drivers on the road.

Just a short note here about pedestrians. Some pedestrians really do think they own the roads. Disclaimer, I am not racist, but I do observe that Indian pedestrians tend to cross the roads without due care. As always, I will signal my intention to turn into a carpark, and I have the right of way. Any pedestrians that chose to ignore my signal and cross the road anyway will earn a loud horn from me.

These are just a few examples. If everyone will just do their part. Drivers observe good driving habits. Pedestrians not putting themselves in danger. Then I think the roads will be a much better and safer place for everyone. Not to mention the traffic will be smoother too.



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