Beware of the Wee Hours

Observe the streets of Singapore as you travel along and one frequently finds signs placed at the junctions seeking witnesses to fatal accidents.

Again, take a closer look at the information given in these signboards, and you would find that nearly all the accidents took place between the hours of midnight and early morning. This is to be expected since accidents at other times would have drawn crowds to the scene and the victims have a higher chance of being saved with prompt medical attention.

However, these facts do carry an important message which I am not sure many have fathomed, which is that when one takes to the streets, especially after midnight, one has to be careful.

Why is this so? There are several reasons I can think of.

With less traffic on the streets after midnight, there is a tendency for drivers to drive at high speed, especially if one has promised to be back home within a certain hour.

Another plausible reason could be that after an arduous day at work, followed by an evening of socialising, drivers are probably struggling to keep awake while at the wheel.

It scarcely needs be mentioned that some of these drivers may well be under the influence of liquor.

All of which brings me to my main message - avoid the hitting the streets after midnight unless it is absolutely necessary. If you have to, be more than doubly sure when you cross the streets or walk along roads.

In fact, even low rise pavements may not be entirely free of the risk of accidents.

I have described only one aspect of the dangers of the wee hours. The other is the danger of drunken brawls breaking out.

Persons, who are usually sane perfect law-abiding citizens, are apt to become talkative and resort to violence over the slightest, provocation, indeed over the slightest disagreement under the influence of alcohol.

Speaking from personal experience, a friend of the good old school days sometimes accompanied us for a few rounds of social drinks.

This friend of us would gradually drink more than what is good for him. He would then become argumentative, graduate to being abusive and before long pick up a fight with someone every time we went out as a group.

For a while of course we would interfere to prevent a fight and apologise to the aggrieved party profusely on behalf of our friend. However, it not only became tiresome doing so, but also put us in fear of becoming embroiled in the fights with all the attendant consequence of being taken into custody by the police. This also means our families would come to know of it, causing further trouble for us. Or, worse still, we might even be charged in court over the fights.

It was too much for us. There was no alternative other than to stop going out with this particular friend.

Sadly, even after we left him, he carried on with his drinking habit and one occasion was unreasonable enough to strike an opponent in front of a policeman.

And guess what? I had to appear in court to argue his case, which resulted in a minimum fine he was fortunate to get away with.

This is why I always tell everyone I know - beware the wee hours and stay at home unless it becomes absolutely necessary to hit the open spaces.
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