Last Friday, around 11am, I was on the way to an appointment somewhere in Paya Lebar/ Ubi Industrial estate area. I was given a road map which I saved on my ipad. The building was quite near to Traffic Police Hq in Ubi. I thought I could find the building easily but I could not locate it even though I had ridden few rounds on my motorcycle in the area.
Exasperated, I stopped my bike at the road side along Ubi Ave 4 near to the junction of Ubi Road 1. I then took out my ipad trying to figure out the exact location of the building. All of a sudden, an LTA enforcement officer in a white motorcycle appeared by my side. He asked me what was I doing? I showed him my ipad and told him that I was looking for that particular building. I looked at him haplessly telling him that I was lost even though I had circled few times in the vicinity. I was thinking that he could assist me by showing me the way or simply just give me some pointers.
Never in my mind did I expect a good lecture from him. I was stunned and shocked for a moment when he rudely told me that he would be coming back again to check on me. If he came back again, he should not be seeing my motorbike parked at the road side. He told me that this sector was his patrolling territory and that it is his duty to enforce illegal parking. He was rather arrogant and high handed in his approach even after my explanation. Again, I told him in a nice and calm manner that I was merely stopping for a while to check the map on my ipad. I even showed him my ipad I was holding then. He brushed me off by saying that “stopping at the road side constituted illegal parking” and that it is an offense even though it is just for a while notwithstanding the fact that I was standing beside my motorcycle! Really langgar dah!
Let me say it again that it happened just after 11am on last Friday – 8 Nov 2013. I regretted not taking his bike registration number then. I could not see his name cuz he was wearing a blue LTA jacket. Anyway, the above incident could be traced to him since he is in charged of that sector. After I rode off on my bike having figured out how to proceed to my appointed location, I saw that same officer “terrorizing” a trailer with many brand new audi cars parked nearby in front of a car showroom. From his body language, I could see that he was giving another illegal parking violation lecture to the poor hapless lorry trailer driver.
The Bard says, “…For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,...”
“The insolence of office..” even in this age of Facebook, Twitter and Blogs? That guy must have come from a cave from another world without any inkling of modern digital society?
When I read about how few funeral vehicles were issued summons for parking near to the void deck where initial funeral rites were performed, it really triggered that close encounter I had with that self righteous LTA enforcement officer. I think LTA enforcement unit is a newly set-up outfit. Those obnoxious LTA enforcement officers are everywhere. You could see them in a typical blue jacket riding on small white motorcycles with a big LTA printed on the back. They are like pests all out to “terrorize” in your quiet HDB heartlands where a summons will set you back at least $70! Some people have to slog whole day under the furious burning sun and merciless rainstorms to earn less than that. After all, only the poor working class ride motorcycles. Riding bikes is dangerous and life threatening that only the poor working class are willing to take the risk for its commuting convenience. The rich who could easily afford the nearly $100,000 COE will never want to ride a 2-wheeler. – (with few exceptions of course)
In my case, I clearly told that LTA officer that the road I parked my motorcycle is so wide and that it is an isolated stretch of road just in front of Ubi One building (about to complete with no tenants or activity yet); I do not see any obstruction to others. After all, I was standing beside my motorcycle and that I did not park it there and go elsewhere. Why can’t he be flexible and exercise some initiative. Not only did he not sympathize with me but warned me in no uncertain terms that I had better move off asap! What a langgar situation. I was so furious that I kept mumbling to myself “干呢拿!” It’s a classic case of “敢怒而不敢言”.
“And, depending on the situation, sometimes there has to be discretion exercised on how the rules should actually be applied. But frequently we will get one or two residents who will insist that the rules be enforced strictly, though the vast majority are ok with the situation.”
Why can’t those LTA officers take the hint from a prominent minister? I had few other unpleasant experiences with those detestable LTA enforcement officers. I’m sure many of you also had similar experiences.
I truly believe that if those LTA enforcement officers are local natives, they would be more flexible and would use their initiative to enforce the rules. Local natives live in HDB flats. They surely understand the predicament faced by us e.g. funeral vehicles parked near to the void deck without causing any obstruction. I ever saw a wedding car nicely decked with all kinds of flowers and decorations got a summons ticket for parking at the loading/unloading bay in the wee hours. Common sense will tell us that with our small compact multi-storey car park lots, how to expect that wedding car to slot in? Yet, my friend had to write in to request a waiver of the summons which he did so successfully.
I believe that LTA did not properly define and laid out their mission statement to those enforcement officers. What’s the role and purpose of that unit? Is it to wipe out and eradicate illegal parking in the HDB heartlands? Do you honestly think it is possible without creating more hatred and bitterness? I was ever summoned for parking my motorcycle at an isolated spot passable to any pedestrian, wheelchair or bicycle etc before I urgently ran to the toilet in a coffee-shop to ease myself. Barely 15 mins, I got a summons for $70. For so many years, I used to do that on and off until recently when that LTA Enforcement Unit was set up to “terrorize” us living in the HDB heartlands under the name of the law – rules and regulations – to the maximum might and “revenue”?
We are already living in such an oppressive society where even a little incident could trigger bizarre illogical behavior and now we got to constantly watch out for those retards riding white motorcycles roaming around the neighborhood to issue summons in a trigger happy manner treating their demarcated fiefdom as a cowboy town as demonstrated in the recent case of those funeral vehicles. Do we have to tolerate such nonsense indefinitely? Do we have a choice? Are they not humans devoid of any compassion? Do we want another such case? Click here to read.
PS: Let’s be clear that I do not advocate indiscriminate parking. Illegal parking that causes obstruction e.g. blocking the refuse truck at the rubbish collection centre, dangerous manner causing accidents or blocking pedestrians etc should be enforced. What most of us motorists are saying is that please be more flexible and use some initiative when taking enforcement action against illegal parking offenses. I believe most of us are considerate and take pains not to cause inconvenience to other road users.
Read this newspaper report …
Funeral service provider: Lack of compassion to issue summon
Translated from Wanbao , “运尸车接获罚单 殡葬业者：没人情味“
4 summon tickets in a mere 15 minutes park at the roadside to ferry the body for funeral. Coffin delivery man complains: “Devoid of compassion to issue summon while the deceased and the coffin is still on the vehicle!”. This incident happened at around 1pm on 4th November at the roadside of Jalan Membina Block 22.
A funeral service provider who does not wish to be named complained that during the incident, four lorries were delivering the coffin, the deceased along with some funeral offerings to the funeral site.
As there is only a small road for parking beside the funeral site. Although the road is marked with a double yellow line but the provider still parked the lorries by the roadside out of convience to shift the coffin and the body of the deceased to site.
“We parked the lorries at the small road, got off the lorries to settle some affairs with the deceased’s family. Who would have expected to find 3 vehicles to be summoned within just 15 minutes, each vehicles being fined 100 dollars!”
He said that when the vehicles were being given the summon, the deceased along with the coffin were still on the vehicle, and cannot understand why the traffic warden could not have been more accommodating when they knew that the family is having a funeral, and still went ahead to issue the traffic summon.
He added that, the lorry that was ferrying the coffin had its rear door opened and could clearly see the coffin, the traffic warden surely would have know that they were having a funeral.
To make things worse, apart from 3 of the lorries from the funeral provider were being given the summons, the car of the deceased’s family was also given one summon.
“I know that by parking the vehicles on the double yellow line is a violation of the traffic rules but we can’t possibly drive the vehicles to the multi-storey carpark and then shift the deceased’s body and the coffin from upstairs.”
He feels that the traffic wardens should be more flexible when it comes to handing such incidents, and communicate with the family of the deceased and the funeral service providers.
Deceased’s family help in appeal
The family of the deceased took in the 3 parking summons to help in appealing. The funeral service provider who does not wish to be named revealed that the deceased’s family facing the sorrow of losing one’s daughter still went out of way to take over their 3 summon tickets and expressed their willingness in helping to appeal, this made him very touched.
He said that he has confidence that the appeal will go through but hope that when the traffic wardens face with such circumstances, they could show more compassion in handling of the situation.
Zheng Hai Chuan – Mostly accommodating
Funeral service provider: If traffic parking rules are violated, traffic warden would mostly accomodate.
Local well-known funeral service provider, Zheng Hai Chuan said during an interview that the providers would park the vehicles to park at the road nearest to the funeral site, which sometimes would evidently foul the law.
“Sometimes the bus which ferry the friends and relatives of the deceased would also park by the roadside but not for a long time”
He said that most traffic wardens would be compassionate. if the funeral service provider require to park their vehicles on a double-yellow lane, they would give allowance as these vehicles will only park a while before driving off.
He would also communicate with the traffic wardens and never met with funeral vehicles being issued summons before.
“Maybe the traffic warden do not know that this vehicle is related to funeral, and so issued the summons”