I”m sure you are aware of the slew of road rage incidents lately: There was the motorcyclist who followed a motorist for 20km before kicking his car door and grabbing the driver because the driver changed lanes without signalling and nearly knocked the biker down.
There was the driver who threatened the other driver with a wooden bat which he retrieved from his boot. And then there was local artiste Pierre Png who got flashed the middle finger when he came out of the car to check if his car was alright.
Such incidents are not uncommon. They happen all the time in cities like Singapore… cities which are cosmopolitan and bustling.
Singapore is already such a small island with limited land space, coupled with the huge number of cars on the road and the level of stress and competitive pressures from society, it’s no surprise that we are angry most of the time or we get angry easily.
It doesn’t help that we pay so much for our cars and then get charged ERP to use roads which are extremely prone to traffic jams and delays.
We are all part of this fast-paced rat race and our society is just so high-strung and uptight that we allow our stress and frustrations to take over the wheel, causing road rage between drivers.
Can road rage be solved? I say NOPE… impossible.
Road rage in a city like Singapore will never be resolved because of our culture and the mentality of our people.
Places like China have the worst traffic order [think organised chaos] with three-lane roads becoming six-lane, but yet the motorists there aren’t impatient or angry. That is culture.
We are kiasu, we hate to lose, we want the best, we think we are the best… Now that’s totally Singaporean.
Be it at work in the office or on the roads behind the wheel, we are egoistic and we think we are always right. Always striving for excellence, efficiency and speed, time is money and hardly any room for error is tolerated.
Road rage is a human flaw and a societal emotional problem.
If i strike first prize in Toto or 4D, by all means, please cut my lane without signalling and please road hog. Because i will be over the top and your little act of stupidity is not gonna dent an inch of my happiness.
But if i’m having a bad day and i’m feeling short-fused, you can be sure i will stare at you and if looks could kill you’d die on the spot!
I’m no angel.. I’ve flashed fingers, flicked headlights and tailgated idiots on the road who annoyed me. In fact, driving has made me an angrier person because i let life’s frustrations translate into aggression on the road.
My vocabulary of expletives and vulgarities has expanded tremendously since i started driving and i have harboured thoughts of scratching one’s car or puncturing the tyre because he offended me on the road. After you cool down you might feel like it wasn’t such a big deal.. but when you’re in it, the anger is overwhelmingly boiling!
Yes life is too short and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get so worked up over momentarily incidents, but we’re hard to please and we have high expectations for ourselves as well as for others.
What can we do to reduce the incidence of road rage? Pretend Singapore is a peaceful countryside? Hold more courtesy campaigns with greater monetary incentives? Implement CWO and shame offenders by making them wash car parks? Bring them onto a programme to show people these are the culprits who make our roads unsafe?
Nah… none of the above will work. As long as our society gets more affluent and the rich get richer, i can guarantee that baseball bats [or worse.. like a hockey stick!] will remain in the boot of many cars.