I was driving along the expressway the other day, doing 100kph behind a long queue of cars on the fast lane. The slow lane was taken up by those in the 60s and 70s. (I mean the speed lah, not the years.) Couldn't see what's holding up the chaps in front. Then I noticed some speed freaks coming up fast behind me looking like they'd like to cut right through me. I looked to my left. No way could I switch lanes in time. Even if I let him through, (assumed that's a male driver) I don't see how he could proceed ahead. Well, I needn't bother. He swerved his black Aeroback to the extreme left (emergency lane) and sped on. The other racers with him followed.
Perhaps he'll learn his lesson the hard way. I've seen enough pictures of highway emergency lane accidents and actual scenes to know how ugly it can be. I thought of the family that got smashed up by one such freak driver and I shook my head. When will they ever learn? Don't our driving instructors teach learners how to use the highways? Where can we stop the car and change the spare in case of a blown out tyre without risking our lives? Suggest to YB Samy Veloo to put up speed bumps on the emergency lane, perhaps? Whatever happened to defensive driving? We have so many aggressive drivers on the roads it's become a war zone out there.
I've also seen an emailed photo of a guy sitting dazed in his Kancil, in the driver's seat, staring at his girl friend in the passenger seat. She had no face left. There was another woman's head from the back seat stuck in between the front seat and the door. The car's roof was gone. There was a gaping hole in the back of the bus which was standing in the emergency lane. Somebody must have taken that picture immediately after the impact. We can just imagine how it could have happened.
Hey. Scary isn't it?
If you have to stop on the emergency lane to help other people such as accident victims, your first priority is not the victims yet. Your first priority is safety for all. Put up emergency signs. Make the scene highly visible to on-coming traffic. Make sure the emergency lane doesn't become an alternative passage to speed freaks. The trouble is, whenever there is an accident, some drivers slow down to look. They contribute to the bottle-neck and block up the road. Speed freaks then think they're smarter. They swerve to the emergency lane. Whamp!!!
"Ops Sikap" time is back. Balik kampung time is here. Don't listen to songs that say, "Hurry, hurry home". Drive carefully. Drive defensively. Rest when you're tired. Forget the caffeine, forget the red bulls. They'll make you agitated and perhaps more aggressive. Water is still the best answer for drowsiness. Be a little late. You don't have to be sorry. It's a lot better than never.