Please Give Way to …

Yes, apart from correcting our tendencies of becoming hordes of hungry, time-conscious zombies rushing in and out of trains and buses, we need help when it comes to giving way to ambulances (+ other vehicles responding to emergency situations). Seriously, it hurts to see drivers taking their own sweet time to give way to ambulances blaring their sirens along Singapore’s expressways. I don’t understand how some drivers can have the heart to wait till the ambulance is right on their tail before giving way. What if the person in the ambulance is their own loved ones, will those said drivers react the same way they do normally?

Illustration | BIG_MOUSE | Typical situation: An ambulance stuck in peak-hour traffic

Illustration | BIG_MOUSE | Typical situation: An ambulance stuck in peak-hour traffic

A video released by the Singapore Civil Defence Force, the government agency in Singapore that, in addition to various other services, provides fire-fighting, rescue and emergency ambulance services.

The common reason (or excuse) given is that they are unable to give way because of slow-moving peak-hour traffic. Well, I think we drivers can and should learn from the give-way-to-emergency-vehicles behaviour in other countries. Instead of forcing everyone to bring their vehicles to a complete stop by the sides of the road (video showing how other drivers in other countries do it), we could adapt it and make it so-singaporean.

Illustration | BIG_MOUSE | A 'new' approach

Illustration | BIG_MOUSE | A 'new' approach

This ‘new’ approach may work if all three lanes of cars on a typical expressway can be squeezed into two lanes to allow the siren-blaring ambulance to pass. This, to me, is a more efficient method as compared to getting drives to pull over to the sides (the method employed in other countries) or motivating drivers to filter away from the first lane (Singapore’s current method).

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How to submit a parking fine appeal?

Just kena summoned SGD 30 for an (honest) mistake of not displaying a parking coupon. (Because it was an honest mistake, I didn’t even turn on summon auntie, an iPhone app, to help me jaga the car. zzz). Update: My appeal was successful.

The steps below will only work for fines given by HDB. Check the bottom of your stub for more details

20111114-113629.jpg

How to submit a parking fine appeal? It took me a while to find out the exact steps to take. So here, I’m sharing this with all. Always for the just in case. 🙂

Step 1: Go to HDB’s infoweb – http://www.hdb.gov.sg

Step 2: Navigating HDB’s website

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | HDB infoweb Headers

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | HDB infoweb Headers

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | HDB infoweb - submitting an appeal

Screen shot | BIG_MOUSE | HDB infoweb - submitting an appeal

The form itself requires your personal details (car registration, notice number, email and mobile number). Your appeal (or a sob-story for some) must fit within 3,000 characters. 🙂

You will then receive a confirmation email. Note that, and I quote, “you can withhold payment for the notice until you receive our reply”.

#sosingaporean drivers are everywhere

A common occurrence, so don’t flame this driver only. He was just suay (unfortunate) enough to ‘appear’ in this video that has been submitted to the relevant authorities.

Screen shot | gothere.sg | Red circle marks the spot

Screen shot | gothere.sg | Red circle marks the spot

Along Ubi Ave 2, there is only ONE traffic signal-controlled Right-Hand-Turn lane into Ubi Rd 1. However, on a daily basis, inconsiderate drivers create their own turn-right lane using the middle lane along Ubi Ave 2, which can be very dangerous as Ubi Rd 1’s merging lane is really short. There already have been a few near-misses these few months.

Mishaps will take place if our TP (traffic police) doesn’t take enforcement action against these inconsiderate drivers, or if LTA doesn’t widen the roads or create one more turn-right lane along Ubi Ave 2 and widen Ubi Rd 1 to ease the early-morning traffic bottleneck.

We are getting sick of drivers who don’t obey rules AND cause distress to others. Please don’t wait for a major accident to happen here to do something. Do something now.

Update #1 (1 hour after my mail to LTA/TP) – LTA said that it is currently studying schemes to make enhancements to the Ubi Ave 2 and Ubi Road 1. They are studying if they can enhance the junction to facilitate more right turn movements and improve Ubi Road 1 to discharge the traffic better. They have also requested TP to assist in the enforcement of motorists who flout traffic rules.

shorter todo list

I am proud to strike more items off my to-do list. 2 more items, 2 more items

  • com401 essay submission (globalisation) – 19nov
  • com424 10-page script submission – 19nov
  • com428 grp project 2, financial press release – 10nov
  • com428 grp project 3, forum replies – unknown
  • com433 grp presentation, preception study about ntu – 29nov (almost done til AM changed some requirements)
  • AAI486 grp presentation (acoustics) – 26nov
  • AAI486 essay submission – 3dec (halfway there)

I opened facebook and saw this youtube link my friend posted. (Watch from 1min 20secs onwards if you wanna plunge right into the action) (loads of vulgarities though)

Although I don’t condone the use of vulgarities even in situations like this, I really can understand why the driver who had the in-car recorder (I shall call him VICTIM) was that pissed with the mazda3 driver (i shall call him DUMBO). From the video, the victim already stopped well before the yellow box, giving the mazda3 driver enough space and even time to accelerate away from the stop line to go left. I could make out the the middle finder that was supposedly pointed by dumbo, but something got that victim really heated up. Some drivers like this dumbo here needs to be educated. (the victim shouldn’t be so vulgar too haha)

Something to spice up your saturday morning.

#####

hit-&-run

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Hit-and-post-a-note incident

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Hit-and-post-a-note incident

Okay, the note is no longer there as this photo was taken one day after the incident. The offender wrote a note saying that he/she took photos of the incident, and to call him/her at a particular number. At least that person was nice enough to leave his/her contact number down. If not, this latio driver would be damn pissed just after getting out of bed.

I have always wished that this type of hit-and-‘run’ incident will not happen in my house carpark. I think this is the 1st instance of this happening here. More and more inexperienced drivers are given their license way too early. The way they teach parking in our driving schools are also inadequate. CDC, BBDC, SSDC, etc should put real cars beside or along the parking lots that learners are supposed to reverse into. Get them used to the fact that in real life, parkings lots surrounding the lot you want may not be always empty for you to make multiple tries.

In other news, the avante has, now, a secondary powering up method. Also, with this sticker, I gained 5 extra BHP. 🙂 *joke*

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Fuel cap power button

Photo | BIG_MOUSE | Fuel cap power button

conflict of interests

Screenshot | skyline imaging

For some reason, STOMP has removed these two posts by bigmachi**. Even my first post/comment, which wasn’t even rude or accusatory, to this article which garnered his vulgar response was just removed by STOMP. What is going on?

I won’t know if bigmachin** is even related to the deceased or the deceased family. Based on his previous comments, he seems to be protecting the people who are involved in this. Go read the comments (if STOMP hasn’t removed it yet). However, he was really rude in his responses to me and to 1 other person.

For me, based on the pictures, I can safely say that the prime mover wasn’t in the left-most lane when the incident occured. When I drove past the accident site today, the way the barrier was crushed preliminary shows that the prime mover was on the 2nd or the 1st lane. Only LTA has the cctv footage, and they will not reveal information like that, so unless the newspapers report on this, we will be kept in the dark forever.

The lil conflict started because I was more concerned about the general situation on the roads with more heavy vehicles speeding and travelling on the faster lanes. He suddenly took my comments personally and start this personal attack. Very interesting. If he truly has close relations to the deceased family (based on what he wrote in his previous comments), using vulgar and rude words will not help. In his ‘anger’, he even revealed that drivers of heavy vehicles like him are hooligans because of the nature of their jobs. It gets even more interesting now.

Just wanted to document this incident, as recalling this 50 years from now will be quite an awesome thingy.

I think I am starting to like STOMP, helps bring out the colours of Singaporeans for all to see.

Here was my reply (in full) to bigmachi** if anyone is even interested.

Dear bigmachine,

I’m sorry that my comment drew some flak from you. I have no intent whatsoever to accuse those involved in this incident. My sentence phrasing may have been a little awkward, thus pardon me.

No one needs to pass on because of an accident on the road. That is what car manufacturers are trying their best to do – invent technologies to ensure that even in serious incidents, people’s lives are still protected.

When I saw this article, my heart sank. A young life is extinguished because those technologies haven’t reach the commercial vehicles yet (if i’m not wrong). It is really an unfortunate incident. I definitely won’t know the full extent of grief that the family is facing now, but I definitely know the feeling if someone I love passes on.

As a fellow motorist, I have seen enough accidents on the road involving speeding commercial vehicles. I myself was involved in one, and thankfully, no one died in that incident. Again, just an observation.

LTA sets a speed limit of 60km/h for all very heavy commercial vehicles. This limit may be set because of the massive masses they carry and potential damage they would cause itself and others should it lose control or the brakes fail. This limit may allow most drivers to regain control of the vehicle by swinging the vehicle to the left to slow down by friction.

Yes, cars will crash into the middle dividers, but because of the low-centre of gravity, cars will have a lesser chance of jumping them. From the pictures, the truck seemed to have jumped the entire barrier easily. Imagine the amount of collateral damage it would have caused to oncoming vehicles. Thank God that this incident didn’t further escalate.

This is the reason why all commercial vehicles have to keep to the left-most lane. TP rules:”Heavy vehicles are not allowed to travel on the far right lane of the expressway. They may overtake on the centre lane of the expressway and must return back to the left lane.”

I understand the nature of your job, but if endangering lives is the by-product of your job, it would be hard to justify the choice. However, without any more details, i shall not comment on this any further.

However, just based on the pictures here, no one will be able to tell what really went on that fateful day. Even looking at those skid marks on photos may not reveal the full length of the skid marks. In no way was my previous reply assuming anything. I am doing it in the hope that LTA/TP monitors this particular social medium, and will tend act on concerned motorists views and opinions.

However, LTA and TP do have access to recorded clips from their cameras along their expressway. During their investigations, they would be able to verify if any traffic laws were contravened that day.

Both my earlier comments were made not to target this family, but to raise this issue to the government about how commercial vehicles tend not to keep to their speed limits or their lanes which may result in emergencies or crisis should an incident happen. Without these pictures or reports, no one will know any better. The main motivation for me, at least, is because of how Traffic Police and LTA don’t seem to be enforcing those same rules they create. If rules are enforced, I would think that, in the future, further loss of lives can be prevented. The agencies need to step up and state their stand. Without clear boundaries, motorists will never know what the rules are.

#####

insurance, petrol, cars, vending machines, iTunes

Caltex and Esso had to ‘humbly’ retract their decision to increase petrol prices by 3 cents about 3 days ago. This is despite the increase in crude oil prices from 75 dollars to about 82 dollars now. It is either CASE is really investigating whether the oil giants are price fixing, or SPC and Shell are trying to gain new, loyal customers. (Image |PetrolWatch)

That’s the good news. Now for the not so nice news.

I just received a letter from HSCS reminding me to renew our car insurance policy. It was all well til I saw the amount. HSBC has increased the basic premium by almost 50%, from 1k to 1.9k even though no claims against our own policy were made last year. This is crap. Thank goodness for FD, Dan, Lopez who reminded me about Aviva car insurance. After a rough comparison, Aviva provided us a quote that is 300$ cheaper than HSBC. HSBC, i am waiting for your favourable reply man. Any delays, poof, you are out.

In other news (what an eventful day)

I just love it when applications on the mac give me error messages that I don’t understand. It’s been a long time since I saw errors messages with weird numbers that do not mean anything. Recall all the 0xd**** messages? haha. That said, only iTunes can achieve this. Only applications that is available to both mac and windows can achieve this.

What in the world is unknown error (-50). Maybe -50 = the loss of IQ 🙂

One last thing. The new fruits (no vegetables) vending machine is buggy like mad. With the correct keystrokes, I can buy anything in there for 1 dollar. On the contrary, the items in there can cost up to 2000 dollars too. (Photo | Irwin)

Life is good, now, back to my treatment (scriptwriting)