Thursday 16 June 2011

Driving in Gugusan Manjoi

It’s always a good idea to have complete driving instructions before entering Manjoi, especially for the first time. If you can help it, have someone with some (if not comprehensive) knowledge of the roads here as you enter Manjoi.

Most roads in Gugusan Manjoi are narrow and short. Cars, buses and lorries are sometimes parked almost indiscriminately. Those already narrow roads are made narrower by these giants.

The very nature of roads here on its own is already dangerous and accident-inducing. With the exception of Jalan Menteri, no other roads in Gugusan Manjoi has pedestrian walk. So, always maintain low speed when you drive in Manjoi. This applies to all types of vehicles – bicycles, motorcycles, cars. It is wise to treat all junctions as accident-prone. Always reduce speed or stop completely at junctions and curves, especially if you can’t see the traffic coming from the other roads properly, due to people’s bulky gates, trees or vehicles parked near junctions (illegal, but no one cares!). This is because like most parts of Malaysia, there are people who don’t care about the safety (or worse, lives) of other people and so, refuse to stop at junctions/traffic lights.

Always be extra careful when driving behind motorcycles and bicycles – their maneuvering is unpredictable. Sometimes they make a sudden turn, sometimes it’s to avoid a pothole or someone’s cat, sometimes it’s to overtake, and sometimes it’s because they lost control due to so many reasons (including talking on a mobile phone).

Driving without a valid licence, road tax or insurance is rampant here. We do have under-aged drivers here (usually with permission from their parents). Motorcyclist most of the times do not wear a helmet. Some even take off their helmet once they enter the village when they return from the city, which doesn’t make any sense. And yes, we do have our own Mat Rempit. The young ones, be it on motorcycles or bicycles, tend to speed or display moronic skills on public roads (and unfortunately, they think they’re cool when the rest of the world think they’re idiots).

However, there are many courteous and polite drivers in Gugusan Manjoi. If you are driving and you see makcik-makcik , pakcik-pakcik and children cycling, please be extra careful. You surely want others to be thoughtful if they were your mother, father, sisters, brothers or children.

Please be part of the solution.

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