Thursday, July 30, 2009

bus lane infringements

car in bus lane in s'pore (around 5.30 p.m. on a friday)

bus in bus lane in melbourne

many singaporeans like to think that we are a much more disciplined lot than the australians. but my one-month of observations in melbourne seem to suggest the contrary. granted, their roads are not as congested as ours although some can get quite as bad during the morning and evening peak hours. but, in singapore, even when the traffic is not that heavy, i see a number of 'couldn't care less' motorists driving into the bus lane.

could it be due to the fact that their bus lanes are more conspicious - the bus lanes in australia are red, covered with materials like those used for the tartan track at the stadium. over here, our bus lanes are demarcated by thick yellow lines or red lines for the whole-day type.

some drivers in s'pore stray into the lane unknowingly but the majority who do, do so with a sense of impunity because the man with the camera is not around to catch them. if the land transport authorty (lta) pays me $1 for each vehicle (photogaphed) that commits this infringement, i will be able to collect quite a substantial sum each day. in melbourne, i would have difficulty earning $5 a day.

another interesting way of letting the public buses move ahead (in melborne) is the presence of bus queue-jump lanes. i suppose they also have this feature in the other large australian cities, especially sydney. it is just a small space at a signalised intersection ,on the extreme left, dedicated to buses or rather to one bus. before the light changes from red to green, an extra light with the white letter 'b' will appear, a signal for the bus to jump the queue. we, too, have a modification of this feature in s'pore but they do not seem to be working as well as it is in australia.

another warp thinking of some singaporeans is this: they think it is perfectly justifiable to pick someone from a bus-bay, which happens to be located within a bus lane, during the bus-lane operating hours. i see this happening every weekday at the bus-stop near my place.

just yesterday, i saw this small van beat the red light, while making a right turn, and after that, he drove straight into the bus lane. however, his act was noticed by one of these traffic wardens. i watched the going-on between the two; eventually, the 'kind' traffic warden left him off with a verbal warning. imagine blatantly disregarding two traffic rules and getting away with it!


peter said...

In Singapore the authorities also must shoulder blame. Have you consider the width of our road lanes?

I believe there is an inverse relationship between our road lanes and the driving speed. other countries have wider lanes, ours so narrow. try driving at 90kmp which is the permitted speed on our highways; you get the "psychological feeling" that you can bump into a lorry on the next lane.

Take a look at the Patterson Road, Scotts Road and Orchard Road junction. Can you imagine 6 lanes on Patterson Road but going into Scotts Road is 5 lanes. Only in Singapore we have authorities doing stupid things.

Lam Chun See said...

I was booked last month for driving into the bus lane at Orchard Road just after Scotts Road junction. After I wrote in with my explanation, they let me off. I could have been $130 poorer.

They actually had somebody with a video camera filming your car. I just saw another one at Queensway, opp the Rumah Bomba Fire station. Heng ah. If I got caught again, they will think I am one of those habitual culprits and was lying the last time.

Maybe I should blog about my experience as well. And then maybe not. Already no time to blog about nostalgia.

Anyway, I think some of the design of the bus lanes and quite stupid.

yg said...

chun see, my wife was also booked for the same offence last month. as the scheme was introduced in bukit panjang recently, i told her to write to lta. she did and lta waive the fine. sometimes, when you are not familiar with an area, you can be forced into a bus lane. it happened to me once when i was travelling along jurong town hall road.

Keith said...

Maybe partly designed flaws, but I think it is mainly the attitude of Singaporeans here. Singapore is too small, crowded and so cosmopolitan. Is this a country at all where Singaporeans can really claim a stake in it !? Most Singaporeans feel left out. That's why they all become so angry, always in a rush and kiasu; cannot tahan traffic jam, there is hardly any road coutesy here. Singaporeans, when they are in Australia, will also drive as courteously as Australians.

Icemoon said...

They actually had somebody with a video camera filming your car.

Some might freak out when they see Warden Ong filming their car.

yg said...

icemoon, true, don't play, play. that day, i stood on the bridge just to count the number of vehicles committing the offence and one driver almost caused an accident when he accelerated to move to the non-bus lane. i almost caused him to get into an accident. i quickly moved away.