Jelapang toll plaza, behaviours and change

I came back from a short trip to Perlis. My mind was in a curious state of mind, since just last week, there was another accident on the infamous Jelapang Toll Plaza station.

“The Jelapang toll plaza has seen 142 accidents in 10 years with the latest on Dec 11 when eight people died and 14 were injured when the bus they were travelling in rammed into the back of a tanker.” (NST)

I wondered, what could go wrong at such toll station. I woke up from a dream. Because, it surely is not the plaza that causes the accident. In fact, I haven’t seen any toll station hitting out at drivers to make them have an accident.

Who is driving the car or the bus? Drivers are sitting behind the wheel – and boy, they drive fast. I am usually driving very careful, mostly around the speed limit. Which, to remind you (haha), is 110 KM/hour in Malaysia. And what happened was amazing – amazing in a negative sense of the word. Plenty of buses overtook me. That’s right. And hey, they didn’t crawl by my car so that I would have a good look inside their interior. Nope – they went fast. And when I say fast, I mean real fast. Chasing each other, at least sometimes. Around curves, and while the bus was leaning to the side, I imagined the bus driver hanging on to the wheel, pulling it down to beat gravity. I wondered how the passengers inside felt.

It is the behaviour of the driver that causes accidents. May be they believe to be Michael Schumacher, or they just want to act cool. May be their company is chasing them to speed up for delivery or additional tours. May be, may be, may be. To me, and I am sorry, these are excuses. Sometimes, I hear or read, that yes, the brakes didn’t work. Hey – how come such car is on the road? Watching some of the lorries overtaking, even in normal traffic during rush hours, how close they come to other cars in front of them. Scarily close. If then something happens, they have no chance whatsoever, to stop the bus or the truck. It takes a damn long time for such tonnage to slow down. It is the drivers’ behaviour, because ultimately, I believe in choice. They chose to speed, or to expose themselves to such jobs or behaviour or company or whatever. Would I punish them? It is not up to me to decide, and I don’t believe in punishment, and rather prefer education.

Have you ever asked yourself what a driver feels after reading about a major accident? Or, to be even more drastic. Just watch and observe the reaction of “normal” drivers after they have passed one of the many accident sites. You know, one of these accidents, when everybody slows down and watches. Thinking, that lucky me, this was not me. And then, just after the crawl aside of the side, to step on the accelerator and speed off, chasing another dream.

So when the toll road has been removed, sometimes in 2008, there will be one excuse less for accidents. Will they stop? I wish, but then, do I believe in Santa Claus?

Update: The toll station has been removed at a later stage, but the behaviour of drivers hasn’t changed much. Dramatic accidents because of speeding still happen.


Andreas is the founder of Asia Mind Dynamics and a certified trainer of internationally recognised certification programmes:

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP),
  • NLP Coach Training with the Coaching Division of ABNLP,
  • The Words That Change Minds -Language and Behaviour Profile of which he also is one of 17 Global Master Trainers
  • Creating Your Future Coaching™ Techniques at the Masters Level with the International Timeline Therapy Association
  • Hypnosis with the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
  • Master Trainer with the International Association of Counsellors and Therapists (IACT).

We also train companies to achieve higher performance especially through our signature programmes on Leadership, Sales and Advanced Communications.

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