Right of Way

The taxi Driver & Me

The taxi driver asked me: where are you from?

I said: Malaysia.

He then said:  Is that a place where cars have the right of way? And if you’re not careful, you can get knocked down the road?

I said: Not really, but that can happen. What you need to do is to raise your hand towards the driver to indicate that you’re crossing, he’ll let you go.

He asked: Does it really work?

I said: should be. most of the time.

This conversation was in St John’s where pedestrian really enjoyed the right of way. You can cross the road anywhere you like in the city – cars, busses etc will let you go. The system is about tolerance, discipline and respect, I think. 

The French Guy and Me

Once a french guy told me about the traffic in Hanoi. He said that it took him a while to figure out how the system works. Over there, you can see a father with 3 children on a motorbike speeding through a red light. That’s normal, said he.

Then I asked him, how do you cross the road? He then explained the fact that you just need to walk across the street at constant speed. All those motorcycles will maneuver their ways.

The system is about predictability. Be unpredictable and you’re dead !

Human are irrational, after all…

Yesterday I enjoyed listening to Genserik, a safety professor from Belgium talking about loss aversion.  He opened his talk with this:

Suppose you are offered two options:

(A) You receive 5,000 Euro from me (with certainty); and

(B) We toss a coin. You receive 10,000 Euro from me if it is heads, otherwise (if it is tails), you receive nothing

What will you choose? 

Let’s now consider two different options:

(C) You have to pay 5,000 Euro (with certainty), and;

(D) We toss a coin. You need to pay me 10,000 Euro if the coin  turns up heads, otherwise (if it is tails) you don’t need to pay me anything.

What will you choose?

By far, most people would prefer (A) and (D). Why? That is not logical, right? It is not consistent. But that’s human.

Another guy told us a story that after 9/11 people are scared to travel by air in the USA. The results, data for the following 3 years showed that the number of people got killed increased quite significantly. In fact, statistics show that it is much safet to travel by air than by car ! It took them quite some time to be back to normal.

Yes human is irrational, especially when they are under pressure








About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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