People just won't let me be a polite driver

By Tran Tuong   April 9, 2023 | 07:51 pm PT
People just won't let me be a polite driver
Traffic following a downpour at an intersection in Hanoi's Thanh Xuan District, May 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
I patiently turned on my turn signal and waited for 10 minutes. Not a single car stopped to let me turn.

This is only one example of how people prefer to compete rather than be nice to each other on the road.

On my 30-minute commute from home to work every morning, I see dozens of traffic violations. I witness, tens or hundreds of people breaking traffic laws each time I make the journey.

In front of my house is a wide road with three lanes of traffic, including one for motorcycles and two for cars, separated by a green strip of plants. But I can no longer distinguish which lane is for cars or motorcycles because the vehicles run chaotically into each other's lanes.

I often wait for red lights to turn at intersections.

Sometimes a car in front of me will move to turn left, but then it just crawls into the intersections, making it impossible for me to continue. Sometimes, all the cars in front of me turn left.

Next, at another intersection that requires a right turn, motorcycles and buses block the entire right turn lane. The traffic police standing a few meters away are also powerless because it is too crowded to do anything. Not to mention the countless other violations such as running red lights, not giving way to cars at roundabouts, motorcyclists talking on the phone while driving, cars parking recklessly in front of school gates...

The simplest thing to do is to patiently wait for other cars going straight to yield to me turning left. But no one was polite enough to yield to me.

So, I couldn't stand like that forever, when there was a gap, I had to accelerate to block the straight car. I couldn't become a polite driver.

I'm sad about this. One individual's attempts to behave better cannot solve problems created by the whole society. Even if traffic police were enforcing the law rigorously, imposing heavy fines, not letting any violations slip much would this really improve the situation.

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