Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Driver’s Nightmare in NUS

I’ve long found driving in NUS to be very frustrating. There are too many reasons. One of my long-time complaints is with the internal shuttle bus services. My chief gripe with them is that they often drive in such a manner to maximize obstruction and inconvenience to other road users. For example, they will often not pull fully into a bus bay even when there is no obstruction in the bus bay, so that the tail of the bus sticks out far behind enough to prevent any other traffic from passing through. Or they will stick their front out enough to achieve the same result. Or, just take a look at the example in this photo: the bus just stops on the main thorough-fare in front of the bus bay.

Although other people may have their complaints about public buses on our roads, I think in comparison, the SBS Transit buses that ply inside NUS are super road-friendly. The internal shuttle service bus drivers (at least some of them) seem to behave like the NUS roads are built for them, and only them. I once wrote in to officially complain about one bus driver whose bus almost collided with my car… but all I got was a wishy washy reply about how the driver did not see me. A so-called “honest mistake”.

Then, there was another incident when a bus reversed into my car. The bus driver simply drove off, and when I subsequently managed to confront him, he insisted it was my car which collided into his bus. Yeah, luckily there was video footage. Despite my complaints, the driver was still allowed to ply NUS roads.

There’s also another type of bus problems: the private buses ferrying NUS staff from home to work. I think the problem is probably with the passengers (who are NUS staff)… asking the bus driver to let them alight at the most damn convenient spot, never mind that it will actually block off the road and cause it to be impassable, even if there is a bus stop with a proper bus bay just 20 metres away. Just because they are too lazy to walk those few metres. It is just so irritating.

Next, there are the pedestrians. Students seem to be the biggest culprit in this group. They cross roads as if the entire length of road was simply a big giant zebra crossing. Some don’t bother to even look at traffic, while some others actually make eye contact, and then expect the motorist to stop, so that they can just cross. It seems so ironic that university-level students are worse-behaved than those from primary schools and secondary schools. It isn’t that they don’t know the road rules, it’s their complete disregard of the rules.

This is almost like driving down Orchard Road on the night of Christmas eve. Except, Christmas eve happens only once a year.

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