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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stop the ‘weapons of carnage’


Road courtesy
SKM should equally focus and spread the message of graciousness on the road

Letter from Lionel De Souza


I REFER to “Are we ungracious, or just shy?” (April 1). I am of the opinion that to be gracious is to be courteous. Hence, graciousness and courtesy are like identical twins.

It appears to me that the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) places too much emphasis on showing graciousness on public transport, but is almost silent on encouraging graciousness and courtesy on the road.

The lack of road graciousness and courtesy in Singapore is a matter of great concern that should come under the microscope of the SKM. Not giving up one’s seat to an elderly person or pregnant woman on public transport may show a lack of kindness. But the lack of graciousness and courtesy on a public road can cause the loss of life and limb.

I witness glaring examples of this a few times a day by people who drive expensive cars. My office is in Katong Shopping Centre and there are two large car parks on the 3rd and 4th levels. The traffic directional signs there are conspicuous and excellent. However, drivers take a short cut by deliberately driving their vehicles into the “out” lane instead of the “in” lane, although the latter is less than 30 metres away.

I wonder whether these drivers realise that they can cause a head-on collision with a vehicle that is correctly using the “out” lane. I have seen children in these vehicles. What values will these errant drivers pass on to their children; that it is alright to drive dangerously provided you do not get caught?

The SKM should equally focus and spread the message of graciousness and courtesy to motorists by organising events such as road shows. It would be better to instil the golden rules of graciousness and courtesy in errant and dangerous motorists whose vehicles can become “weapons of carnage”.

From TODAY, Voices
Thursday, 02-April-2009