This blog on driving has been in existence a rather long time now.
To be exact, since April 2009. Of late, I feel I have been churning our articles that are not very interesting to readers.
Why do I feel this way?
When readers do not give good reviews, comments or encouraging remarks, how else then would a writer be expected to feel?
Today, therefore, I will attempt to write an interesting article for all readers. Hopefully, I shall succeed in my attempt.
Road users, in case you are unaware, include pedestrians, motorists and motorcyclists. There are in fact many things which, unfortunately many road users are unaware of. The following are 5 things Malaysian road users may not know:
1) The necessity to wear shoes when they are driving.
Many Malaysian drivers, include your sincerely, are very fond of wearing slippers when they drive. Slippers wearing is a habit amongst us. It is a cool and simple way to drive about.
But believe me, if you choose to wear such apparels when driving or riding a motorcycle, you will, I am certain, find yourself in deep trouble one day. Why do I say so?
Because wearing slippers is deemed dangerous! As a driving instructor for many years now, I should be aware of the Road Transport Department’s (R.T.D.) requirement that all my students wear shoes and certainly not slippers when they attend driving classes with me.
Touch wood, they say, until today, I have yet to be stopped by the R.T.D. for this offense yet.
What a big shock it was for me when a reader commented that new learners should wear slippers instead of shoes when learning how to drive. According to him, it seems a driver will then be able to have a better feel of the accelerator.
I wish to remind all readers, driving with slippers is against the law, not only in Malaysia, but I believe in many other countries all around the world as well. Anyway, if you should be stopped by the R.T.D. or J.P.J. authorities, please do remember, they will end up summoning you, and not me, the instructor.
To end this section on the danger of wearing slippers, especially when riding motorcycles, permit me to relate to you about an incident which involved myself riding my Suzuki 120 cc in my younger days.
One night, as I was attempting to put my bike on a one stand stance, stepping on its stand and heaving the bike back to put it on its stand, unfortunately the metal contraption hit my toe nail and almost ripped it off.
Intense bleeding of my toe together with the searing pain almost caused me to faint. If I had not been wearing slippers then, this unfortunate incident would not have happened.
2) Doing a U turn is not allowed.
Many drivers I’m certain, are not aware that doing a U turn is towns is not allowed. This is especially so, when many motorists make U turns at traffic light junctions.
Unless there is an arrow and a traffic sign that show a U turn is permitted, doing a U turn at such places is a traffic offense.
3) Standing in the middle of the road at double lines.
Some pedestrians are very fond of standing in the middle of busy roads while trying to cross busy roads.
Prior to this, pedestrians would stand on a divider as they wait for an opportunity to cross the road. This in fact is a dangerous move.
What pedestrians are advised to do is to first of all wait at the road shoulder should he or she intend to cross the road. Once a pedestrian discovers that oncoming cars a no longer approaching him, he can then proceed to cross the road safely.
So do remember, if you wish to cross a road, you are hereby advised to first of all stand on the road shoulder, observe traffic and ensure it is safe before finally crossing the road.
4) Drivers should put on headlights when it is night time.
Headlights or head lamps should be put on when night time arrives is something all drivers should be aware of. What signifies “night”? A solicitor friend of mine advises, night is considered as “half an hour after the sun legally sets”.
For instance, if the sun has set at 6:40 pm, then by 7:10 pm, a motorist should then be installing the lights of his car by that time. Failure to put on the lights of his car by then would constitutes an offense.
5) Refusal to pay tolls constitutes an offense.
It is uncertain whether as a motorist, you are aware that when you cross a toll collection booth, you have to pay toll. What will happen should you refuse to pay tolls?
Maybe you have reasons for it. Protesting perhaps with something you are not too happy about. Be it be known, that a person who refuses to pay tolls can be arrested by the authorities concerned.
I still remember very vividly, when the Opposition leader, the Honorable Lim Kit Siang, refused to pay tolls. The toll authorities finally called the cops who came to remove him.