Just what can we do as pedestrians against errant drivers?

by Chen Guojun

I refer to the following two articles, “Cabby jailed five months for killing pedestrian while running red light” and “Sleepy driver who killed pedestrian jailed 3 months banned driving for five years“.

When I read the above two reports, I was irate. Especially the one that happened at Jurong West, very close to where I live.

In my honest opinion, the sentence meted out was hardly enough to be deterrant punishment for errant drivers. A 6-year driving ban? You might as well tell me it is okay for a bad driver to kill someone every 6 years!

In my mind, I had thought of all the possible things that I could do. I considered starting a petition and collecting signatures to review the sentencing framework for such cases. I considered going to a meet-the-people session and speaking to the MP. I considered going to all SG forums and highlighting this issue to everyone.

That day, when I got home, I spoke to my family. I told them of these horrible accidents, and how it could happen to anyone. It could happen to us. Horrifying, is it not? I told them, we must always be very careful whenever we cross the road. We must never be distracted, and always pay attention. And above all else, NEVER EVER CHALLENGE A CAR. Do not assume it is the responsibility of the driver to watch out for your safety.

And that’s when it struck me. This is the best thing I can do. To write an article here, so that you the reader, may understand, that we must take our road safety seriously. It’s time we take this matter seriously, and raise awareness of this.

What we pedestrians can do, is to pay attention to the road, and not our phones. We should not jaywalk. Taking care of our safety is our responsibility. Drivers do not have to take your life seriously if all they get is 3 months jail and a 5-year ban.

We cannot wait for the government to actually do something. We cannot hope that the drivers will watch out for us. But the one thing we can control, is how seriously we treat our road safety. It may make the difference between life and death.

I urge everyone to remind their loved ones to take road safety seriously.

On a last note, I also hope the families of the victims take legal action, and not to remain in silence. I do not know why the family of victim Angelia He Xue Li, had not taken a civil lawsuit. But remaining in silence is in my opinion, not the answer.