I live in a mature Housing Board estate overlooking an open-air carpark.
Last Saturday at about 11am, I witnessed the selfishness of Singaporean motorists first-hand.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force Hope ambulance entered the carpark. I heard its siren wailing long before it reached my block.
In the carpark, cars were waiting for parking spaces next to double-yellow lines, and other vehicles were waiting for those in front of them to move. A few impatient drivers were trying to squeeze through whatever little space was available, creating further congestion. One driver was even reversing into a space right in front of the ambulance.
All these led to one thing - impeding the progress of the ambulance.
At one point, the ambulance driver had to exit his vehicle and order the motorists to move and give him room.
There are many old and sick residents in my estate, and I have heard of this same scenario playing out several times.
This also happens on the roads. One ambulance driver told me that this happens "all the time".
I have noticed this happening for fire engines as well.
Sirens are loud enough to be heard from far away, giving drivers enough time to filter and clear the lane.
But other selfish drivers may not allow others to filter in.
Clearly, the penalties are not tough enough to end this kind of behaviour.
In countries like Australia, clear-thinking, fast-acting and considerate drivers exercise gracious manners and civic-consciousness on their roads, which deserves applause.
Ambika Vidyadharan (Dr)