“On the Road” Manners…

It’s Automologist ATHERTON’s turn to lament the road manners (or rather lack of) of Malaysian motorists. 

Good manners is something to be observed in all parts of our lives: table manners, starting at a young age; social manners, like treating others with respect, being nice, saying your hellos and goodbyes; we have school manners, whereby students follow certain rules, wear proper attire, etc; office manners are important as well—people in an organization respecting one another and getting the job done.

We have these “kinds” of manners but ‘On The Road’ manners seems to be missing. Yes, most of us follow the traffic rules, stop when we’re supposed to, keep within the speed limit, don’t obstruct traffic unnecessarily, keep both eyes on the road, fasten seat belts, and so on, but there are some ruffians who think that they own the road.

I’ve driven cars and ridden bikes on my daily commute, so these are not imaginary nor do they come from any site/forum I’ve read or stories I’ve heard. These are MY daily encounters with others who lack driving manners: –

1) Driving a car/bike recklessly on the highway. As soon as these motorists hit the road, it’s like they’ve been given the freedom to drive or ride like they’re on a racing track.

2) Beating the red lights if there is no approaching car (motorcyclists are more prone to act this way). The countless warnings given by authorities seem to fall on deaf ears and not even the demerit point system is curtailing this problem.

A gorgeous M4 totalled by an impatient Avanza driver:

Image credit : Zerotohundred.com

Watch this video:

Notice the cyclist to the left of the Beemer. What would have happened if he too was rammed into?

3) Driving and riding while talking on the phone. Both drivers and bike-riders show off their skill of one-handed maneuvering. Bike-riders have another trick they perform, which involves shoving the phone between the helmet and their ear.

4) Texting while driving. Drivers do it all the time. Very few are disciplined enough to stop by the side to make a call or send a text.

What if the child was yours?

Image credit : Business Insider

5) Tailgating. Drifter-like synchronization with the car in front. They have the ability to get the car in front to move to the side. *Applauding sarcastically*

7) Jumping Queue. You’ll find many people doing this to save time. There are those who justify this with ‘I’m late for work/I’m rushing for a meeting/ I gotta catch a flight’ (and the rest of us aren’t?).

Who cares, as long as I’m on time.

Image credit : Gulf News

8) Parking willy-nilly. A herd trying to occupy a single spot—that is the local definition of parking. And that presents a problem because people park just about anywhere there is a space. Those who live in flats have to keep their cars in neutral/free gear and not engage the handbrake to allow other residents to push the car out of the way, for other cars to exit.

These are just a few scenarios that I encounter on a daily basis. We all have to make a concerted effort to improve on these road manners. We are, after all, a civilised society…aren’t we?

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