The local Straits Times reported today that a 5-year old girl, Zhao Lin Qian, whose family hailed from China and had settled in Singapore, was killed by a speeding car while crossing the two-lane Punggol Field road with her grandfather on her way to piano school.
The girl has shown a talent in piano and this was the first time her grandfather had brought her to piano lesson as it was usually her father, an Engineer in Changi Airport who does so.
While the duo might not be using designated road crossing, it was reported that Lin Qian's grandfather has commented that the car which killed Lin Qian had sped so fast that there was little reaction time.
LianHe Zaobao, the Chinese morning newspaper in Singapore, showed a distressing photo of the girl's grandfather lying flat on the road in shock while her father sat next to the body of Lin Qian wrapped with covers, in complete shock and grief, seemingly unable to accept that his daughter was gone.
Residents in Punggol living near the venue of accident interviewed by Zaobao have remarked that the Malay driver at the wheels of the car, a salesman, who has perpetuated the accident was quite familar to them as they have always noticed him speeding his car very rapidly in the vicinity and has always blast his in-car entertainment system while driving. Witnesses said that they had seen the driver speeding and overtaking a bus before crashing into the poor girl.
It is really a tragedy that occurs in heartland Singapore! Imagine raising your young children, only to be killed by a reckless act of some inconsiderate and showy Singaporeans who just love to speed and show off the speed and sound of their brand new cars, with blatant disregard for the lives of pedestrians!
Drivers who have killed pedestrians walk away with a fine and suspended for driving at most or worse, are slapped with some weeks of jail but that is all, they just have to serve some time and spend some money and after which they can get on with their lives but victims of their brutal, and totally inconsiderate acts are gone forever, leaving pain, misery and grief to the loved ones of the deceased.
I really hope that the Traffic Police can increase the penalty of those drivers who speed and destroy lives and families through their speeding and other reckless acts. I have observed cars in Singapore these days even do not pull over at traffic lights or at specific junctions, I was also almost killed on many occassions by these bad and inconsiderate drivers while using the pedestrian crossings properly as a pedestrian of the road. Drivers here, I observed, are quite inpatient and seem to want to save time and hence speed is the answer for them. I notice that speeding is quite prevalent among some taxis and lorries doing deliveries as really time may be of essence to them.
Drivers who speed either want to save time or want to show to others that they are 'heroes'. In achieving their goals and satisfying their egos, they jeopardise the lives of other road users and render complete disrespect and disregard for the lives of others.
Errant drivers, as I have mentioned before, may get suspended for driving, be fined or serve some jail time, but that is all. They may be sad and guilt-ridden for some weeks, some months but that will also soon pass but the pain and grief of the surviving friends and kins of the deceased whom they have killed will linger FOR LIFE!
I would like to recommend that errant drivers who have destroyed lives through their saneless and inconsiderate acts write a letter, expressing their remorse to the grieving family every month for the rest of their life. I have read that some countries have implemented this method to keep the errant drivers conscious and remembering of the carnage to the lives of others that they have caused... for the rest of their lives! However, such letters may always cause haunting of the bad memories to the family of the deceased for life too!
Errant drivers who speed do not only cause the lives of pedestrians to be jeopardised, other road users such as the motorcyclists, whose vehicles proved to be vulnerable when compared to a car or truck, have their lives equally at stake! I have colleague who was killed in traffic accident too!
Singapore Short Stories encourages all drivers to drive slowly and more carefully, sparing a thought for other pedestrians, and never drink before driving. For pedestrians, do not gurantee that by using designated crossings, you will be safe. Always keep a lookout for oncoming traffic.... for there will be some who will think that they are Kings of the roads.
On a parting note, I would send my condolences to Lin Qian's family and hope that they will seek a closure of this tragic episode and move on with their lives soon.