As I sat in my car, fighting another yawn in yet another traffic jam, I realised something — Malaysians are horrible drivers.
I mean, yeah, we been knew, but when you’ve been stuck in jams for a month and half, you can actually see it all unfold.
You have people out here thinking that their turn signals are just another decal on their violently neon-coloured cars. And that if they look away from you when they’re queue jumping, it just means that they’re just “so silly ha ha omg I can’t believe I didn’t notice I missed a turn” and then proceed to signal in and cut you off because hey, it’s an honest mistake.
Pff. Yeah right. You ain’t slick, Patricia. Get back in line.
A friend of mine made a joke about the traffic jam that went something along the lines of “of course there’s jam everywhere now. People are going 40 on an 80km/h road!” Yeah okay, that’s kind of funny because it’s somewhat true. But would these acts happen if people just followed the lane they were meant to follow instead of thinking they’re the only ones who have the right of way all the time?
I see you nodding but this doesn’t exclude you, you know. Nor does it exclude me, unfortunately. No matter how angry I am at people on the road nowadays, I have to admit that I myself am not the best driver. But have I committed some of traffic’s most heinous crimes? Well… let’s just read on and see. And if any of these sound familiar to you, maybe you’re not that good of a driver either.
1. Remind Me Again What Those Arrow Things Are For?
This is a pretty funny one because it happens all. the. time.
Not funny ha ha, but funny “haven’t y’all learn your lesson yet?” You know those little arrows on your dashboard? And those sticks sticking out of the corner of your steering wheel? Yeah, those are your turn signals. You use them to indicate other drivers of where you’re turning to.
If you don’t use them, how are people supposed to know where you’re going? And when you suddenly swerve into other people’s lanes without warning, how are you going to act like you’re the victim when the driver you’re cutting in front of had no idea you were going in?
If you can upgrade your car to having a lightbulb that rivals the shine of the sun, you can use your turn signals properly.
It is also necessary to mention that turn indicators are not right of way indicators. Marinate in that thought for a bit.
2. Excuse Me, Can I Just Squeeze In A Little Here?
There’s nothing I hate more on the road than queue jumpers.
I’m going to stick with the word “hate” here because that’s how strongly I dislike it. If I can wait in line for longer than thirty minutes, why can’t you? It’s not like we’re going anywhere anytime soon. Even if you cut by me, you’ll still be stuck. So what’s the point?
There was once a time when I had to wait in traffic for an hour and half because people were constantly queue jumping. This mainly happens when I’m on the way to work and pass by the Icon City area. You guys take up the entirety of the three lanes just so you can cut lines and be “early” to wherever you’re going. Can I take “extremely selfish” for a hundred, Alex?
Queue jumping is indeed a traffic offence and you can get fined up to RM300 if you’re found guilty of it.
If you’re not a jumper but see any queue jumpers later on your way home, you can just report them to Jabatan Pengankutan Jalan (Ministry of Transport) (JPJ) by sending an email to them along with the queue jumper’s plate number. Or for even easier access, you can submit traffic violation complaints via e-Aduan@JPJ app.
3. This Isn’t Talladega Nights. Slow Down
We’ve all run into fast drivers before. You know, those guys who always want to go way past the speed limit and then some.
There’s not really much to say about “fast drivers” except for when they flash you from behind when you’re already going 20 miles above speed limit. To that I say “Belah la. Nak laju-laju pehal?” They would always cucuk-cucuk you from behind and act like you’re driving super slow and being a nuisance when they’re the ones that are the nuisance.
How much faster do you want me to go? And hello, why are you driving so fast anyway?
And for you to intimidate me on the road and still get stuck beside me when we hit a jam five seconds later is just embarrassing. Maybe you’re just not good at telling the time if you’re in a hurry all the time? You should work on that first before you make it everyone else’s problem.
The speed limit is there for a reason and the reason is to not see of you can break it without getting caught. Maybe you can try exercising less of the “super sonic speed” and more of “being aware of your surroundings while you drive”. You’re not driving alone here, you know. Other people want to use the road too.
4. Um… Is There A Non-Smoking Zone For Cars?
Another thing I strongly dislike when I’m stuck in traffic is if the car in front of me lets out copious amounts of smoke.
I’m sorry, but I think your car needs to go to the car doctor to get its lungs checked. That much smoke can’t be healthy. Not only are you polluting the air, but you’re also polluting my car. I just got it washed and now it’s covered in black soot and I can barely see what’s in front of me. Doesn’t that count as a hazard?
Especially now that everyone and their grandfathers are apparently on the road, you see all sorts of cars with all sorts of smoke coming out of them.
Some drivers go the extra mile to be different and “not like other cars”. They not only smoke but change their exhaust pipes too, just to make their cars bigger and noisier than everyone else’s.
Listen, I don’t care that your car is garishly neon green. It hurts to look at but I don’t mind it. What I do care about is that it produces enough smoke to give me second hand lung cancer and noise loud enough to wake the dead. Please, the road isn’t your showroom.
As if being in a jam isn’t enough to make us want to off ourselves already, we have to be stuck listening to the vroom vroom of your engine for two hours too?
5. Everything’s Checked Out… Right?
Okay, I’m going to go ahead and say that I don’t usually do this either. I mean, checking your car’s inner workings and functions before you go anywhere, is kind of a hassle.
But if the hassle saves you from humiliating yourself in the middle of a traffic jam when your car ultimately breaks down because it doesn’t have “enough water”, isn’t that kind of worth it?
Of course la, realistically speaking, checking your car every time you go out doesn’t (read: won’t) happen. And I’m not saying you’re a bad driver just because you don’t do this. I’m just saying that maybe checking if your tank is full and that your brakes work well is the least you can do in order to ensure a safe journey back home for both you and the rest of the people stuck in traffic.
After all, you don’t want to be the one person stuck in the middle of the lane, causing yet another traffic congestion while cars pass you by and give you the stink eye, do you?
If you’re a regular driver, it’s important to make sure that your car’s in working condition.
Check Yourself, Bad Driver
I’m not going to put the “using your phone” thing in here because although it’s reckless (seriously, DON’T do it), I feel like Malaysians are multitaskers in this sense already. It sounds bad, I know. But am I wrong?
A cousin of mine’s friend claimed that she can’t drive without a phone in her hand anymore as it doesn’t feel natural. What in the classical conditioning is this? Do we have a diagnosis for this?
There’s also a lot more reckless driving to dissect, like stopping at the yellow box, blocking a zebra crossing, double parking, slow drivers, white MyVis (whom deserves their own TW, if I’m being honest), etc. but then this article would look like a thesis report. And I honestly don’t want to do that.
With all that being said though, this isn’t to say that I haven’t done any of these things before. I was a bad driver once too. And I’m not going to claim that I’ve suddenly become a great driver, because I know a lot of people would beg to differ.
If you somehow are lucky enough to work from home (in which I envy you a lot and pray that we switch lives until this whole traffic thing blows over), let us take you through what us unlucky Malaysian drivers that work at the office have to go through every day.