Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Better Be Safe Than Sorry!


A signboard showing the location of fatal accident

Ever so often, we see the above signboards placed throughout Singapore. I was surprised when I saw the above signboard at the junction of Race Course Road and Bukit Timah Road, just beside the Little India MRT station. Apparently a fatal accident had taken place on Sunday, 19th of April, at around 3.29 p.m. Witnesses of the accident are asked to contact the police.

I have been living in Little India for almost two years now. I have often noticed that many people, especially the Indians in Little India seem to be quite nonchalant when they cross the road. Some even walk in the centre of the road! Many often jaywalk, and cross in between vehicles! My heart often miss a beat when I see the dangerous way pedestrians cross the busy roads of Serangoon and other adjacent roads like Syed Alwi and Kitchener.

My tenants Avinesh and Jasmin share with me that many of the Indians cross the roads in almost the same way that they cross the roads in India. They don't follow the rules.! Jasmin added that if a person can drive in India, he can drive in almost every part of the world. I guess I understand what he means for I would think it is the same for drivers in Penang or Bangkok. I think I will no longer dare to drive in my own hometown Penang.! It is ironical that it was in Penang that I learnt driving and obtained my licence! But having lived in Canada and Singapore for the past two and a half decades, I find the traffic in Penang too confusing. My second brother, Kee Seng said that if drivers are faint hearted in Penang, they would never be able to get out of an adjacent road into a very busy road.!

I hope that when people cross the roads, they will be extra cautious. To me it is alright to die for to us Christians, death has no sting. It is more agonising when one becomes a vegetable - neither dead nor alive, or become paralysed or maimed because of an accident.! My beloved papa, always reminded us not to rush frantically. In Hokkien he liked to say, "Ban jit jih, uak chap nee." Direct translation - slow a minute, but live ten more years." I would urge all drivers to drive more slowly when they are in Little India and be on the lookout for errant pedestrians. It is certainly better to be safe than sorry.

Gan Chau

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