行人道。斑马线。交通灯/ Pavement, Zebra Crossing, Traffic Lights

《我报》27-3-2012
炎下之意(专栏)文/马炎庆

行人道。斑马线。交通灯 

前个周末的“咖啡开讲”交流会上,有位淡滨尼的居民就针对有些脚车骑士在行人道上的鲁莽行为,表示不满。

有关当局已在进行加宽行人道的工程,好让行人和脚车骑士有更大的空间共处。

可是,行人道的空间再大,人心的空间若不放大,也无济于事。脚车是铁马,速度比步行快,撞到的伤害力大。脚车骑士有义务照顾行人的安危,看到有行人在前方,应该自动放慢速度,按车铃也不要急躁,尤其上了年龄的行人,需要多一些时间反应,急促的铃声反而让他们紧张。

另一方面,如果行人认为,行人道是他们的地盘,可以随性,甚至大摇大摆地走,知道有脚车要经过,却故意不让步,纠纷就会这么开始了

在柬埔寨学会过马路的窍门 

我在路上行驶时,注意到很多行人在过马路时有点大意,一面走一面看着手机,甚至在发简讯。

马路如虎口,就算是在斑马线,或是交通灯绿人亮着的时候,也要左右看一看,查一查车辆是否停了下来。虽然在指定过道过马路完全没错,法律也会站在行人这一边,可是,万一发生意外,吃亏的肯定是行人。就算交警法官会判肇祸司机有罪,扣分、罚款,甚至坐牢,但受伤的是行人,痛的是自己的身躯,值得吗?

十多年前去了柬埔寨,马路上的汽车、电单车和脚车挤得水泄不通,要过马路却找不到斑马线或交通灯。

后来,发现车子都不会开得很快,却也不会停下来让行人过马路,当地人都是慢慢地顺着交通,一步一步地走过去。不久,我也学会了过马路的窍门。

行人和交通融为一体,顺水推舟般地就可以缓缓地、安全地从马路这一边走到另一边。

与人相处,要理性规划,感性配合 

新加坡是一个讲法律的地方,什么可以做,什么不可以做,都明文规定。执法者也很有效率,抄牌、警告、罚款或坐牢,总会有一招生效。可是,我们是否认为凡事有法律保护,有警察抓坏人,而就掉以轻心,警惕心大减?或者,变得事事都依法行事?认为“这是法律规定,这就是我的权利”、“那是他的错,我为什么要让步?需要妥协的人应该是他!”。

斑马线和交通灯固然是现代社会的基本交通设施, 但我们不可变成没有斑马线和交通灯就不懂得如何安全地过马路,更不要认为斑马线和交通灯就一定是万无一失的安全之道。

人与人之间的相处,公共空间的同享,除了有理性的规划,也要有感性的配合。凡事不要太计较,尽量为他人着想。

忍一时风平浪静,退一步海阔天空。

 

Translation

Pavement, Zebra Crossing, Traffic Lights

During the “KopiTalk” session held at Tampines North two weeks ago, a resident expressed unhappiness over the reckless behaviour of some cyclists on the pavement.

The relevant authorities are carrying out plans to widen the pavement so as to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

Unless we strive to be more gracious and magnanimous, this will continue to pose as a problem regardless of the width of the walkway. The bicycle is akin to an iron horse capable of a traveling speed many times higher than that of a pedestrian. Therefore, cyclists have the added responsibility of keeping their acceleration and environment in check.  When ringing the bell, they should exercise judgment and discretion, especially when alerting the elderly who require a relatively longer reaction time. Impatience will only create unnecessary burden and distress.

On the other hand, disputes are seemingly unavoidable if pedestrians insist on hogging the entire walkway and refuse to give way to an oncoming cyclist.

Learning the knack of road crossing in Cambodia

It is not an uncommon sight to spot pedestrians staring hard into their mobile phones or actively engaged in their text messages when crossing the road.

As the Chinese saying goes “The roads are no less dangerous than a tiger’s jarring mouth”, it is therefore crucial to make a quick visual scan of both your left and right to ensure that the traffic has come to a halt before crossing the road. In spite of the conscientious efforts to abide by the traffic regulations, it does not render one invulnerable to the traffic hazards. In the unfortunate event of a road accident, even if the driver eventually received the fair punishment meted out, the injured pedestrian remains the one bearing the physical anguish, wallowing in his sorry plight. Is this even worthy of a justification?

During my trip to Cambodia more than ten years ago, I found it almost an impossible mission to cross the roads in the sea of motorists and pedestrians when there was no proper traffic infrastructure. It took me some time to finally realize that the pedestrians had to move along with the streaming vehicles in order to get to the other side of the road.  While people do not drive fast, motorists would also not stop to give way to pedestrians.   Hence, the trick to crossing the roads with ease in Cambodia – pedestrians blending in with the traffic.

Rational planning interweaved with sensible complementarities makes the art of harmonious living

Singapore is a law-abiding nation with what we know to be the “to do’s” and “not to do’s” explicitly spelt out. Law enforcers are also efficient to issue summons, warnings, composition fines or even mete out the penalty of imprisonment, all of which will indubitably serve their respective purposes. However, can we just outsource our security to our polished and efficient Home Team and therefore subscribe to a lower level of vigilance and surveillance against external jeopardy? On the contrary, will we tailor every aspect of our lives in accordance with the law and ride on the privileges legally prescribed, and refuse to make compromises?

The zebra crossings and traffic lights are modern infrastructure that lend assistance to moderate traffic flow. Nevertheless, we must never take their usually functional and robust capability for granted and gets trapped in the assumption that these tools are unassailable and fail-safe.  Neither should we lose our innate ability to negotiate traffic in the absence of these provisions.

Building interpersonal relationships and living together in a common space not only ask for sagacious planning but also jive with the virtue of emotional and mental forbearance. Sometimes it serves us better to be less fastidious and to exercise greater consideration towards the needs of others.

Patience and tolerance in the fit of rage begets serenity and harmony.

   Baey Yam Keng

https://www.facebook.com/notes/baey-yam-keng/%E8%A1%8C%E4%BA%BA%E9%81%93%E6%96%91%E9%A9%AC%E7%BA%BF%E4%BA%A4%E9%80%9A%E7%81%AF/10150663684969601

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