You’ve heard of the driver-less car. It will be a few more years before you see it on the roads in any big numbers. In the interim, I would suggest that car-makers consider making a simple adjustment to the existing universal model. Take out the signal stick for the indicator lights, and the lights themselves. And what you get is – the signal-less car.
Such cars should be very popular in some markets, especially Singapore. Most motorists in Singapore tend to treat their signal lights as redundant, the least used parts of their vehicles. This conclusion is based on observations made over a lifetime of driving in Singapore. The signal-less car should sell very well, especially if it comes with a hefty discount over the regular model. Singaporeans love a bargain.
The proposal is to make signal lights and signal indicator sticks optional features. Only those drivers who feel for some reasons compelled to use them should have them installed. At additional costs of course. Not so much to penalise them for craving such frivolous gadgets, but for wasting scarce resources which go into the manufacture of these body parts of questionable utility.
The signal-less car will make driving a breeze. No more having to contend with another chore. It is hard enough work already having to step on the accelerator and the brakes. Not forgetting manipulating the shift gears, if you are still driving one of those ancient modes of transportation.
It should add fun and excitement to the ride. Even if you’re only a passenger. At road intersections, both driver and passenger(s) can engage in the game of guessing which way the moron – I mean motorist – in front is going. You do it now anyway, except that both you and the other driver are now paying for the pricey gadgets, which both of you don’t want to be caught dead using. With the signal-less car, you can play the same guessing game, only for free.
It should help to improve driver temperaments. Because if you don’t expect to see any signals, you’ll be less likely to get upset, if you actually don’t see any. No more cursing under your breath, or indeed over and above it, at the driver in the oncoming vehicle, for not showing whether he intends to proceed straight or turn, and if so, which direction, while you wait for him to commit himself. With a signal–less car, you simply don’t harbour any expectations, so you simply don’t get disappointed, and hence annoyed. Life will be nice and peaceful for all.
Swerving in and out of lanes will become real tests of driving skills. Both for the ‘swerver’ and the “swervee”. Both will need to be alert, to be able to switch lanes, or to have one’s path cut into, with little or no prior notice. It is a testament to the driving prowess of Singaporean drivers that the rate of accidents arising from such incidents is not higher than it currently is. With forced alertness, and further honed skills, these accident rates should fall over time.
All this is of course is subject to the approval of the Land Transport Authority. But I can’t see any reason why this wouldn’t be forthcoming. After all, the LTA is not exactly insisting that motorists actually use their signals, only that their vehicles have them.