Parking rules exist for a reasonParking illegally along the side of the road is a prevalent practice in Singapore. And I am sure that many of us have guiltily indulged in such behavior at least once in the years that we have been driving. And when we come across vehicles parked in such a manner, we are unlikely to do the "right" thing and call it in to report it. And we often scorn at those complain kings or queens who report such practices to the authorities. After all, shouldn't we live and let live and practice some tolerance? Especially where it causes just a small inconvenience?
Well, some thing that took place a couple of days ago made me rethink my perspective. I was down with an intense and severe stomachache and was advised by my GP to head to hospital. Well, staying near a private hospital, it made more sense for me to be driven down by my family rather than calling for a non-emergency ambulance. It was a 10 minute drive away and on paper it appeared faster to be driven down rather than waiting for an ambulance.
Unfortunately, it was lunch time and some of the roads surrounding the hospital were packed with drivers who had chosen to stop or park by the road side to grab a quick bite or run some errands at the nearby shops. Throw some heavy vehicles and buses into the mix and with numerous vehicles turning into smaller side lanes, the single usable lane became grossly inadequate. A 10 minute drive doubled into a 20 minute journey.
On any other day, I guess it would be a small inconvenience. But in light of the pain I was in, that additional 10 minutes felt like an eternity. Thankfully, it turned out that I wasn't suffering from anything major and have more or less recovered. Still, I wonder about the consequences if it had been an emergency ambulance carrying someone in a life threatening situation that had been caught up in that traffic snarl. No amount of siren blaring could have speeded it along as there was no space for other vehicles to give way. Those few minutes may cost dearly in a genuine emergency.
So here I am, blogging this post, hoping to convince more of us drivers to do a rethink before parking illegally by the road. The convenience of walking less and that dollar or two that we save in parking may have further reaching consequences than we can imagine. Be more considerate please and spread the message.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!