Having lived overseas for the past eight years, I found that a lot had changed during my recent visit to Singapore. One thing that has not changed, though, is the way we drive.
"Kiasu-ism" sets in when a driver signals his intention to change lanes. Instead of giving way, other motorists tend to speed up to prevent him from moving into their lanes.
The same thing happens when emergency vehicles try to pass other vehicles.
During my time in North America, I have observed that drivers on both sides of the road would pull over on the right-most lane (left lanes are the fast lanes in America) to allow emergency vehicles to pass, with some even moving onto the kerb.
On my recent visit here, I saw drivers not giving way to one another and hogging the road instead. I even saw a vehicle cut into the path of an ambulance, almost causing a collision.
While we have laws against obstructing emergency vehicles, it is pretty clear that our drivers are not adhering to them. It should be second nature to follow the law.
I strongly urge the Land Transport Authority and other authorities to look into this matter.
I also urge my fellow Singaporeans to change their driving habits. While we live in a bustling city, rushing everywhere or being "kiasu" isn't everything.
This article was first published on Dec 17, 2014.
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