Wednesday, November 22, 2006

People need to be educated



One of the most basic driving skills taught and tested on is how to drive in a roundabout. Okay, so we shall disregard the 'kiasu' Malaysian drivers who deliberately jump the queue and get into the wrong lane because we shall assume that they know the rules but choose to be extremely RUDE and still cut into people's lanes and disrupt otherwise smooth-flowing traffic.

Yesterday on my way to work, a woman in a Kancil was on the outer lane of the roundabout. Picture this: a clock with its 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock angles. I'm at 6 o'clock going to 12 o'clock. From the outer/right lane, I enter the roundabout's inner lane (which incidentally, is the correct way to enter a roundabout from the outer/right lane - unless you drive on the left side of the road, if so, don't listen to me).

So there I am, obediently following traffic rules and as I pass 9 o'clock I indicate that I will turn off at 12 o'clock. I notice the aforementioned Kancil coming out of my 9 o'clock and into the outer ring of the roundabout, which means - if she follows traffic rules and therefore does not disrupt people's driving and potentially cause an accident - that she HAS to turn off at my 12 o'clock as well in order not to cut into people turning in from the inner ring.

But OF COURSE, being one of the 40%* of Malaysian drivers who blatantly disregard or who are ignorant of the traffic laws, she tries to pass the 12 o'clock turnoff and go right round the roundabout on the outer ring!

You know, this occurrence isn't very unusual to me, except that when she realised I was turning directly into her car, she stopped her car and gave me an ugly face, probably scolding me from the comfort (or however much comfort you can get in a Kancil) of her car. I guess she was kind of shocked as well because I was so close to her. I'm the sort that will not brake in advance just to avoid your illegally driven car and I don't give two hoots whether you piss your pants or not when you see me bearing down on you.

So since she stopped her car - in the middle of a moving roundabout, I might add - I had to stop mine too and see her give me "the face". We both got honked so I honked her back to scold her and she finally drove off.

In the end, I don't think her problem was blatant disregard of laws, but rather that she did not know at all what the laws are regarding roundabouts... hence the diagram above. Just a simple one to illustrate where people on inner and outer lanes must go. Of course if you're on the inner ring of the roundabout you may go round and round and round without ever turning off. Entirely your choice. But if you're on the left lane of a turnoff, you MUST always, ALWAYS enter the outer ring of the roundabout and turn off at the next turnoff. Simple!

*this is not statistically accurate but a general observation from my time on the road

4 comments:

al said...

dear shoobie boobie,

the word on your diagram is wrong. you must be meaning that only vehicle on inner lane can skip a turn off. what lah you. try to teach people you oso wrong.

shoobaba said...

hello!

yes i see what you mean, but i think what i meant at the time i wrote it was that the "outer lane" is the right lane on the road just before you enter the roundabout. many ppl still don't get the concept and still try to enter the inner roundabout lane from the left lane of the entering road. however, i do understand your point and so I will be gracious and fix the diagram. when i have the time.

Sisco Tello said...

This rule is not the same everywhere. For example, in Spain, cars on the outer circle have priority, and you can go around the roundabout as many times as you like around the outside. You must never turn off it while driving on the inside lane when there is a danger you might cut across the path of the car next to you. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but that is the way it is.

Sisco Tello said...

This rule is not the same everywhere. For example, in Spain, cars on the outer circle have priority, and you can go around the roundabout as many times as you like around the outside. You must never turn off it while driving on the inside lane when there is a danger you might cut across the path of the car next to you. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but that is the way it is.