Friday, June 1, 2012

The Fatal Junction

I recently took my bike out for a spin late one night.  As I approached at about 3am the road junction where a Ferrari driver smashed into a taxi killing himself, the taxi driver and his passenger, I saw blinking lights by the roadside.  This was also the same junction where another non-fatal accident happened just last week (about a week after the fatal Ferrari accident).

The blinking lights came from two police officers, a policeman and a policewoman.  They were very friendly and pleasant.  They told me they were on an operation to arrest motorists who beat the red lights.  As I removed my rucksack to take my phone-camera out, they even advised me to bring my bike onto the kerb.  Naturally, they didn't want a third accident at this junction and right in front of them too.

Police officers in Singapore are a decent lot.  Racist policemen who beat up blacks and only get booked when the video of the beating goes viral are non-existent here.   When I was a student, I even got a ride on a police patrol car out of the Hall of Residence in my university to the bus stop some distance away.  That incident emboldened me and the next day after having had breakfast, I saw from the dining hall of my university hostel a patrol car moving slowly along the road in the direction of the bus stop I wanted to get to.  Accustomed to the incredible friendliness of police officers and without a thought, I clutched my bag and ran after it.  I didn't want to have to walk the long stretch to the bus stop.  The policeman stopped his car immediately, thinking no doubt that a crime had been committed and I was running to them for assistance.  It's not surprising that I got an earful from them when they heard with disbelief that all I wanted was a ride in their patrol car.  That was the only occasion when they were less polite.  But even then, they were not rude.  They were probably too shocked to be rude.  They pointed out to me that it was a patrol car they were driving and not a private car.   After apologizing to them, I even had the cheek to ask if they could still give me a ride but of course they refused and drove off.

But that was a long time ago and now I'm older and wiser.  I asked these police officers if I could take pics for my blog before doing so.  I was tempted to ask them to take a pic of me on my bike but I felt that was going too far and even a camwhore must know his limits. I am indeed older and wiser.


  1. It's quite convincing that the red lights at this junction is not very obvious and I now understand why. This is a very wide one way street that appears long and straight. Most junctions I'm familiar with have dividers and are two way, so the red light would appear to be in the middle of the road, and filling the dark "infinity" space in your forward view. Most wide junctions I know also have overhead lights, which many 2 lane junctions even have so it can be seen by cars way behind the queue too. To see the traffic lights at either side of this road, a driver really needs to take their eyes off the centre view and watch the sides too, which when approaching, will be filled with other distracting lights of shops as well. There's a reason for overhead lights and I don't see any here where it seems most approprate.

  2. You are absolutely right. Someone has made a remark that there used to be overhanging traffic lights but they were recently removed. It's possible that they were removed to make way for the subway line. This is really tragic.