In spite of the delay at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, I was eventually able to get my passport renewed, and ever since then, I’ve been mulling over the possibility of taking a short trip to Malaysia on the weekend.
Unfortunately, videos that have gone viral showing road rage and poor driving near the border cause me to have second thoughts. On the way to the Johor checkpoint, there was a woman who pulled off a license plate from a car that scraped hers, and there was a man who furiously flashed a Malaysian passport while cutting in front of another car. Both of these incidents occurred on the road.
Why does going across the border seem like it’s going to be more dangerous these days? It’s possible that we’ve forgotten that such poor behavior used to be considered acceptable.
Individuals had gotten used to the traffic jams, people cutting in front of them in line, and occasional vulgarities and hostile gestures when COVID-19 stopped allowing journeys across the Causeway and Second Link. We are all familiar with vehicles that drive in the lanes meant for buses or emergency vehicles, but after traveling a certain distance, they switch lanes and drive in the lanes reserved for cars.
Are more people who are angry but ready to go finding themselves returned to the same conditions now that land borders have been fully opened? In point of fact, motorists who had previously become injured to the same level of inconsiderate hostility may now be more easily provoked.
Include in this mix any and all emotional baggage that one might be bringing along with them on the trip. According to the findings of a study conducted in the United States, the likelihood of being involved in an accident when under the influence of negative emotions increases by as much as ten times.
According to research conducted in Germany, driving while angry leads to an increase in instances of deliberate aggressive behavior, which might result in more frequent accidents or cases of road rage.
In the instance of melancholy, researchers in France discovered that it is analogous to a case of cognitive distraction, as the driver tends to spiral into rumination about the discouraging situation and focuses less on their surroundings.
Even while it is not possible to drive solely when one is completely calm, being aware of how one feels before embarking on a trip can at least protect one from allowing themselves to get provoked to the point where they lose control of their emotions.
In addition to this, the circumstances play a part. The American criminologists Marcus Felson and Lawrence E. Cohen developed a theory referred to as the routine activity theory. This theory postulates that criminal activity takes place whenever there is a confluence of a motivated offender, an appealing target, and the absence of capable guardianship.
First, let’s take a look at the very last aspect. In the vast majority of these instances, the conflict has been resolved, and any corrective action involving the government takes place after the incident. Because of the heavy volume of traffic on the Causeway and the Second Link, a “guardian” who is supposed to maintain order or enforce the regulations cannot magically appear whenever one of these functions is required.
Last but not least, the “attractive target.” The offender considers this target to be someone who merits reciprocal violence and who they are capable of competing with. It’s possible that another provoking behavior, like an insult or a gesture, that follows the lane-cutting is what sets off their concentration on the target.
What then can we do in these instances, which almost can’t be avoided when passing through land checkpoints? Recently, when I was riding in a car provided by a private hire company, another driver abruptly entered the lane in which we were traveling.
My driver did not use profanity, but instead added, “I think I am learning to be a better person.”
I was taken aback and inquired as to the reason he stated it. In his response, he stated that in the past, even less significant triggers were sufficient to send him into a frenzy.
However, during the course of his career, he came to realize that it was not worth it to lose his temper because it would ruin his journey and put his passengers in danger. Most importantly, he noticed that he was becoming an overall better person with each instance in which he let slights go.
This is a worthy goal, but achieving it will undoubtedly be a challenge. On the road, it can be quite difficult to refrain from acting aggressively in response to another driver’s aggressive behavior.
One tactic is to replace every unpleasant emotion or idea with a reminder of what your larger aim is. In this instance, the larger goal is to arrive at your destination safely and without encountering any problems along the way.
If there is a means to get away from the original aggressive action in a safe fashion, then you should do it as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that responding angrily to any act of aggression with an act of your own is a certain way to make the situation worse. If you feel that you have been wronged in some way, you should document all of the essential evidence and then submit it to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
Therefore, the next time you are waiting in line at immigration and you see people acting inappropriately, remind yourself of the following: The line won’t be there forever, but the consequences of any hasty action will be.
Instead, picture yourself sitting down to a delicious supper at the end of that long journey with your loved ones or some of your closest friends. Isn’t that something more exciting to anticipate in the future?