Well, it hasn’t reached epidemic proportions yet but it’s going there. Just this morning the cab driver intentionally hit a motor bike which happened to drive in “his lane”. Nothing much happened but he wind down the window yelling at the older man an provoking a fight. I was nearly to grab his seat belt and strangle him from the back.
He followed for a couple of hundred meters, still yelling and then finally turned, apologizing to me. Didn’t even get a nod from me for that.
A few weeks ago similar happened while using the bus, just pushing the motorbike a bit to show who is the boss. Fucking idiots!
In fact I have been a victim myself - not here though but in Malaysia where I used to drive myself. Road rage was/is quite common there, too, but the government at least realized something had to be done and implemented stiffer laws (some people got stabbed by knifes or even got killed).
Here my story:
Waiting at a traffic light a motor bike stopped beside me. Just when starting to move as the traffic light went green the guy lost his balance and felt against my fender, but nothing further happened and he was still standing - so I drove off.
At the next traffic light I had to stop again and saw the bike pulling up behind me, the guy gets off, goes to the back and comes back with a wooden rod.
He tried to smash my windscreen and side window, both of which failed (thanks, Toyota!).
Stupid me went out to take down his number and he didn’t do a thing, just standing by his bike again and waving his stick. But when I went back into my car he threw the rod into my back. Didn’t hurt but I thought enough is enough and went to face him. Unfortunately he managed to punch me once or twice just below the eye before I could grab him.
Then another driver came out of his car - but not to help, just to complain we should give way as the light turned green already!
Well, the guy took advantage of the situation, jumped on his bike and was gone.
I thought I can’t let him get away and went to the traffic police to lodge a report. They became extremely interested when I said it was a Malay (read: Muslim) and escorted me to the Criminal Police. Another report and then I had to go to the hospital to check my “injuries”. After that I had to go back (submit the report from the hospital) and then we went to the scene of the crime searching for the stick (now around 6 hours had passed …).
Anyhow, as I had his number plate the police managed to track him down and locked him up. If convicted he would have faced a minimum of 1 year jail (max. 2 years).
However it turned out that he was very young and he and his familiy apologized, send me a hamper and so on.
My boss (a local) advised me then to withdraw my report as otherwise he would have been blacklisted for the rest of his life and since the familiy got involved it showed they were serious about this whole issue.
Needless to say I did withdraw my report and let him off the hook. Not much harm was done and 5 days in the lock-up of the Malaysian police surely isn’t any fun either.
Yet it showed me two things:
It’s not always the one at fault who is attacked, rather the other way around. (I have also be threatened many times by others when I honked at them or otherwise showed my disapproval when e.g. cutting me or nearly causing an accident due to their reckless driving.)
Though I probably did the right thing (reporting the incident rather than bashing him up) I wasted around 6-7 hours on the whole thing.
And as with most traffic rules and regulations they are not or cannot always be enforced and prevent such situations, but ignoring them like it appears to happen here in Taiwan will cause the whole thing to escalate - with the growing traffice and lowering of the inhibition threshold this seems inevitable.
So is this another “loosing face” or just a way for people to blow of steam? :?:
PS: Later in Malaysia I had a 4WD with bull bar in front and a wheel base wider than the body - that somewhat prevented others from trying to force their way - and the two who tried probably still regret they did try.