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Life can be frustrating at times and with Covid fears and worries nagging at us, tempers often boil over.
At home, we drop harsh words on loved ones or worse: Cases of domestic violence have increased as more stay home due to Covid.
On the roads, aggressive behaviour or angry actions can be triggered by the smallest interactions.
A simple Google search would net any number of road rage cases. Such as the motorist who was fined $3,000 for slapping a cyclist, or the delivery rider who given a maximum fine of $2,500 for hitting a car side mirror.
Last month, a 30-year old motorcyclist was arrested for smashing a taxi’s mirror after getting honked at. According to a video posted on the ROADS.SG Facebook page, the motorcyclist followed the taxi into a residential car park at Keat Hong in Chua Chu Kang where he hurled vulgarities and damaged the taxi, which was carrying a passenger and her baby.
The video, which was posted on Oct 11, showed the passenger’s point-of-view during the incident. The biker can be seen walking around the taxi, shouting at the driver to step out of the vehicle. He then smashed the side mirrors with his helmet.
Fortunately, the driver (who remained calm) and his passengers were unharmed throughout the ordeal.
Turning rage to kindness
According to a report by the American Psychological Association, there are several traits that drivers more prone to road rage would show: They tend to think in a hostile manner, drive faster and take more risks on the road. They’re more likely to insult other drivers or express their disbelief when others drive a certain way. Their thoughts frequently shift to vengeance, which can include physical violence.
But as many road rage stories we hear, hope is not lost. There are many incidents that showcase how selfless Singaporeans have shown kindness on the road.
As I was scrolling through TikTok, I found some heart-warming stories shared by riders to create a positive change in the road community:
Clearing the road so others can pass
Anyone wants free bird’s-nest fern? 🤪 (if can help, help. If cannot it’s ok at least you tried. This one I try lucky the fern not so heavy if heavy I’ll prolly ask uncle for help 🤣)
As TikTok user @ayyypenv2 was riding, he noticed a fallen bird nest fern causing an obstruction in the middle of the road. Without much thought, he quickly did a U-turn and moved it off the road so that vehicles could pass.
Even though as a motorcyclist, he could easily avoid the obstruction, he still went out of his way to remove the hazard so other vehicles can proceed smoothly and safely with their journeys.
His video got more than 700 likes and expressions of support from other TikTok users.
@zulharith7 commented: “thank you for making the roads safer!”
@NenekKuSuperSpy commented: “Good Samaritan ayyypen”
Saving a confused bird
In another video, uploaded by TikTok user @abangfoodpanda5657, the food delivery rider was on his daily runs when he realised something unusual. According to the video, he saw a dazed bird walking on the road, oblivious to the dangers of oncoming traffic.
After passing by the same area twice, he concluded that the bird would be safer if placed somewhere else. The third time around, he stopped for a moment and used a small towel to move it to safety.
His video got more than 600 likes and support from other TikTok users.
@Boi_Thottex commented: “Thanks bro good job”
@imnhmy added: “awwww ur a hero!”
@damagedboyx joked: “Hello, Foodpanda. Can you give this rider a pay raise?”
Cleaning up after someone else
how could this have happened? 😬
TikTok user @rasoolrashford10 spotted a fallen electrical board obstructing the carpark gantry into NUS. He didn’t know how it became damaged but deciding that it would be unsafe to just let it be, he moved the electrical board out of the way with the help of another driver.
In the video, he can be heard explaining to the other driver in Malay that he is “afraid that a lorry or a big vehicle won’t be able to enter due to the obstruction.”
Even then, some impatient motorist behind the two men honked at them for blocking the exit to the car park.
The video got more than 2,000 likes.
Commented user @novyghai: “I really appreciate it that you put it aside for safety! The driver who honked – sigh!”
Returned a lost mobile phone
Last but not least, one rainy morning, TikTok user @xxblxkxx noticed that a motorcycle storage box had fallen off a bike on Nicoll Highway towards the entrance to the KPE. Braving the rain and oncoming traffic, he stopped by the side of the road to retrieve the fallen box and handphone.
Fortunately, he was helped by other kind motorists: A bus driver (Service 196) stopped his double-decker on the lane so that it was safer for him to retrieve the fallen items. Another SUV, with two curious makciks, stopped in another lane as well so that he could move the items to the side of the road.
Although the items that dropped were not his, he still went out of his way to help pick it up as it is dangerous for oncoming traffic as well as to retrieve some other rider’s valuables. Before the video ended, we see the rider’s father calling the mobile phone and most likely it was returned to him.
The video got more than 3,000 likes and positive comments, like from user @purplecassowary, who said: “So nice of you, the bus driver and of the two ladies in the car too!”
Look on the brighter side
Although these random acts of kindness on the road are not usually reported in the news or media outlets, I hope these videos can remind us that there are people out there who are willing to go out of their way to help others. And you can too!
You don’t have to see a fallen obstacle or remove a potential road hazard just to be kind. Even a simple act of kindness is enough.
Give way to those on the road who may be lost or hurrying for an appointment.
Allow others in when they indicate that they want to merge into your lane. On the flip side, if a driver lets you cut in front of them, give them a pleasant wave or a grin.
Don’t become irritated if others don’t use their turn indicators. Frankly, being helpful and courteous to people when driving makes it a lot more enjoyable (for everyone) on the roads!
Oh, and if you spot any act of kindness on the roads, or want to share a positive experience of your own, remember to tag us on TikTok with #ChooseKindness and #BeGreaterSG!