SINGAPORE: Drivers who cut queues may think they can get to their destination more quickly, but the behaviour can disrupt the flow of traffic and cause further congestion on the road for all motorists.
It also increases the risk of accidents happening, said the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) as it called out such drivers as showing “little respect” for other road users.
The issue of queue-cutting was highlighted by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Jan 16 as it warned of heavy traffic at Singapore’s land checkpoints with Malaysia ahead of the holiday travel period.
Inconsiderate drivers have contributed to congestion at Singapore’s land checkpoints, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam pointed out in a parliamentary response on Jan 9.
In response to queries from CNA, the AAS warned that the risk of an accident increases if drivers cut into lanes too suddenly or too slowly.
“Furthermore, if the vehicle that is queue cutting has stopped or is moving sluggishly, this will seriously affect the smooth flow of traffic, which will then lead to more congestion on the roads and longer travel times for all vehicles,” it added.
Those who cut into other lanes and block the path of other vehicles “show little respect” for fellow road users, said AAS as it urged motorists to be gracious on the road.
Here’s what drivers can do to avoid adding to congestion or if they are stuck in traffic:
Motorists should be prepared to take evasive action because road users may not always obey the law, the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) said in an advisory on its website.
Drivers should also make allowances for others to correct their mistakes.
They must adapt to road conditions while staying in control of their vehicles.
“If necessary, motorists should signal, slow down, or make a full stop” when facing unexpected road hazards including potholes, bad weather or other accidents,” SRSC advisory said.
“They must never speed up, change lanes, or swerve and squeeze their way through traffic.”
The AAS said drivers should avoid distractions such as eating or using their phones, even when stuck in traffic jams.
“Being aware of other drivers’ actions and blind spots is also important for staying safe in heavy traffic,” it added.
ABIDE BY TRAFFIC RULES
Motorists should not drive if they are tired or have been drinking.
They should always check their blind spots, avoid changing lanes at bends and should not overtake unless the road is clear, said the Singapore Police Force in its list of road safety tips.
The SRSC advises drivers not to speed or tailgate.
They should keep to their own lanes and avoid sudden braking by leaving sufficient space between vehicles, AAS said.
Motorists should give space and time to other drivers, be understanding of the actions of others and not rush.
“Drivers can show graciousness on the road by being patient,” AAS said.
“The association would like to encourage drivers to maintain their composure, especially during frustrating situations and to not take the actions of other drivers personally,” it said.
“Drivers should also avoid any intentional actions or aggressive driving behaviours that may provoke, antagonise, or even endanger other road users.
“By driving graciously, this can help create a safer and more pleasant driving experience for all road users sharing the road and reduce the risk of accidents.”
If possible, avoid jams and bad traffic conditions by travelling during off-peak hours, the AAS advised.
Before setting off, drivers can also plan their route by checking for congestion on roads and highways. The Land Transport Authority and ICA Singapore post traffic updates on their respective social media accounts.
“By planning their routes, drivers can also better manage their time and avoid rushing as well,” AAS said.