Traffic jams. Don’t we Malaysians just hate them? And yet, we Malaysians are forced to accept and endure this daily torture to get to work, to get back home and to get another greasy burger at the drive-thru. During the festive seasons, when motorists flock back to their hometowns and traffic jams are at its peak, it is estimated that Malaysians spend more time getting stuck in festive traffic jams than getting stuck with relatives that they don’t want to get stuck with.
But beyond the endless streams of cars arranged bumper-to-bumper, driven by people who gradually develop the habit of excessive snot-digging, this overused Malaysian excuse implicate larger and more complex problems such as photochemical smog, millions of ringgits loss through fuel wastage, or worse, further degradation of our music choices caused by the overexposure of motorists to our local radio stations.
Don’t press the panic button just yet. There is hope for us Malaysians. Here are FIVE outlandishly stupid but good ideas that could possibly declutter our roads and leave us digging deep into our creative barrel for more conveniently plausible excuses for being late.
5) Replace all traffic lights with traffic police
How many times have you thought to yourself, “Man, this traffic light shouldn’t be here.” Let’s face it, traffic lights are not exactly powered by STARK Technology, let alone Pentium 256. More often than not, traffic lights are the main reason we have traffic jams in the first place. So why not replace them with our very own reliable, hardworking and highly efficient traffic police? Nothing makes us happier than seeing a traffic police pakcik standing next to a traffic light and showing that tri-coloured contraption how things should be done. What’s more, the heavy reliance of traffic police could mean more uniformed crime-busters on our roads, and that other Malaysian nightmare – the Rempits – would have to limit their activities to the confines of basement carparks. Two birds. One stone.
4) Citizen’s Timetable for Road Usage
Say you come from an area that is commonly blamed for causing traffic jams. Okay, say you’re from USJ. This area can be divided into zones and motorists within certain zones can be assigned different times to hit the roads on a rotation basis based on a ‘master timetable’. Here’s the good part. If your zone is being allotted a certain time, say 8a.m., you are expected to be late anyways and you can tell your boss or lecturer, “What to do? Gomen say I can only leave by 8a.m., so as responsible Malaysian, I’m late lor.” Here’s the better part – imagine sleeping till 7.59a.m. Well, that’s for at least a good month before the compulsory time-zone rotation pins you back to 5a.m. There’s one major flaw though – trust Malaysians to be responsible for a greater good.
3) Screw RM200 fines. how about RM1000 fines!?
Just got into a fender-bender and it’s your fault? That’s a RM1000 fine for you. Why? Because nothing creates a more massive traffic jam than a post-accident scene of two stalled cars next to two drivers out by the road side, both arm akimbo and close to tears upon seeing a speck of chipped paint. Thanks to that sleep-inducing nasi lemak you had for lunch or your oh-so-important-and-timely-selfie-with-car-interior-background, thousands have to suffer for it. Oh, and the amount of fine should vary depending on which stretch of tarmac you’re on. Traffic jam prone roads – RM5000 / Jalan Mayang Sakaenah – RM1000. By making accidents an offence, Malaysians might just be slightly more careful because nobody wants to lose a month’s wage just because they didn’t brake in time. Right? RIGHT?!
2) Exponential Fuel Price Increase
Before you start calling us crazy, let’s face it – fuel prices in Malaysia are the lowest in the region and, frankly, we Malaysians are spoiled by our over reliance on fuel subsidies. Increasing fuel prices exponentially may trigger a few societal and socioeconomic changes (should our society survive the chaos) that can benefit all of us in the long run:
a) Less cars and more public transport users
b) Safer streets because the Rempits won’t be able to afford it
c) Carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a very expensive suicide method and may lead to less suicides
d) All Malaysians will be forced to work harder to acquire their own transport thus, indirectly helping Malaysia become a high-income nation in no time
e) Reduce brain drain because the trip to the airport will be too expensive
1) Giant Pop-Up Walls
We can’t deny it. Malaysian drivers love gawking at mangled car parts (sometimes, even body parts), whether the accident happened in your lane or the opposite one. Some even go as far as parking their vehicles and getting out just for a closer look. So, in order to stop Malaysians from satiating their innate, yet unexplainable, morbid fascination towards road accidents, we propose building giant pop-up walls all along the central dividers of highways.
Whenever an accident happens, sections of this giant wall will emerge from the ground, keeping the accident from view so that road users in the opposite lanes won’t even get a chance to steal a peek. One unclogged road is better than none.
This wall might put a dent to the country’s resources, in terms of monetary, materials and manpower but we have faith in our beloved Malaysia to finance such outlandish mega-projects as we’ve done so in the past.