I decided to take a lift from my dad to the MRT station instead of driving to work this morning. From my house, the usual route would be turn out onto PIE (towards Jurong) and take the first exit, which is Simei Ave. This morning, there was a police car parked half across the Simei slip road, with its hazard lights & the blue police lights flashing. There was no policeman anywhere to be seen. My dad paused next to the police car then decided that perhaps it may have broken down & so he turned into the Simei slip road.
When we reached the bottom of the slope (the slip road’s on a slope), we saw that a taxi had crashed into the rail guard and was totally blocking the path to the main road. A lone policeman emerged from behind the wreck and started shouting at us. He asked why did we turn into the road when his car was “blocking traffic”? My dad said that there was no indication as to what happened and he thought that the police car had broken down.
The policeman was obviously offended by the thought that a police car could break down. He kept repeating in a raised voice, “What? My car breakdown? My car breakdown?”. Duh. It isn’t your car dude. It belongs to the Republic of Singapore. Plus, i really don’t think any car would be immune to breakdowns, police car or otherwise.
My dad was pissed by the rude tone of the policeman and raised his voice and said that he should have at least stationed himself at the slip road to give directions to traffic not to turn into it. The policeman shouted, “Then what about the injured person? Who’s going to attend to him?”.
This got my mom pissed too. So she went, “Then where’s the injured person?”. At this, the policeman replied (still shouting), “Convoy to hospital already!”. And my dad retorted, “If already convoy to hospital, then why u still standing here? U should be giving directions at the entrance to the slip road”
The policeman replied that if he left the accident scene, there would be “no one to guard the car”. I was thinking… huh? This is Singapore bro. I really don’t think u’ll see people looting from the wreckage right? Personally, sizing the white-haired and overweight Malay chap, i suspect he just didn’t want to trudge up the slope. He also kept shouting that he had left a sign to say that an accident had happened.
My dad then asked the policeman, “What do u expect us to do now?”. To which he shouted his reply, “U ask me what to do now? How i know what to do? U can drive in right? Then u reverse out the same way u came in lah!” (Seriously, i wanted to slap the person’s face. So damn bloody rude). My dad asked if he could help us since we would be reversing onto oncoming traffic on an expressway but no…. Mr. policeman had to “guard the car”. Never mind if we cause another accident at the top of the slope.
My dad was really pissed. He challenged the guy to show him the sign. At this, the policeman said, “Ok. I show u the sign”. So my dad reversed up the slope, while the unfit policeman slowly huffed & puffed his way up. Gosh. If i was robbed by a snatch thief, i think the chances of me catching the robber would be higher than that old chap but i digress…
Guess where was the sign? It was this small, A4-size sign that said “Accident” and it was placed on the boot of the police car… facing inwards (towards the pavement)! Sheesh. Even if anyone could see the sign from the road, u might’ve thought that the police car was the one that got into an accident. More shouting ensued. I thought the policeman was just way out of line. Was there a need to shout in the first place? Whatever happened to the image of the “friendly police force” the police have been trying to potray? Wait a min… actually i don’t need a friendly police force. I just need one with common sense & has the stamina to climb up a slope.
To sum it up…
My dad’s viewpoint was: If u need to block traffic, do it properly. There are always more than 1 policeman in a patrol car… so one of them should definitely be giving directions at the blockade. Even if there was only 1 policeman, then use some bloody cones or something so the public would know that u are trying to block the road. Don’t tell me there’re no cones in a patrol car.
The policeman’s viewpoint: I am a policeman. After sending the injured off in an ambulance, it is my duty to guard the car he left behind.
My viewpoint: U can’t out-talk stupidity. Can we just get to the MRT station already??
In the end, instead of going to Simei MRT station, my dad dropped my mom & me off at Tampines MRT station. Sigh. What a way to start the week.