Do You Follow the Arrows?

By Christina Kim - May 07, 2015


I was driving on my lane, in the shopping mall’s car park, keeping an eye on the availability of an open lot where I could park my car. It was peak hour period and inevitably; all the parking lots were filled.
I craned my neck towards the left and right direction while my hands were tightly gripping the sides of the steering wheel; hopeful to catch a glimpse of an exiting car or anyone heading towards their car.
Thank God for the invention of the indication lights hovering over each of the parking lot, and that they were installed in this mall to aid in their driving shoppers’ navigation around the large and densely populated space of their car park.
I was circling around the car park for a few minutes and I was heading towards another area where I usually prefer to park, when a car right up front on my left was slowly making their exit out of their lot.
I was heading in their direction but I noticed another car on the other side with their indicator on; declaring that they saw the spot first and that they want the spot.
(I am sure we are all familiar with that universal indicator language when driving).

The thing is; this is a one-way street and I am on the right direction, which means, the other driver is on the wrong.
Granted he was closer to that lot, and technically, I did not think that he saw the lot first since he was really driving on the main street in the car park. He quickly swerved his car into the lane; in the wrong direction, mind you as though afraid that I was about to just drive into the lot.
I hesitated for a while; wondering whether I should turn on my indicator and just take the spot instead of driving to my preferred spot which is a little farther down and on the other side.
However, I decided not to, because I do prefer to park on the other side.
Hence, I just passed by and let the other driver park.

Now the question comes, did I do the right thing?

It was obvious the other driver was in the wrong, but did I do the right thing to let him have his way?
There are many ways to look at this; and technically I would not say there is really a clear area to justify the whole situation.
Looking from my perspective and stand at that moment, I was truly not interested in the parking lot because I was heading towards another area of my preferred parking zone; despite the fact that I was on the right side of the direction. Rightfully it would seem that the parking lot was mine to take, and I was just a few cars away, but I just was not interested.
Therefore, in a way, it was not really a real debate of right versus wrong, because I chose to drive away from the lot.

But, what if, I was just like any other (normal) driver who was on the hunt for a parking lot, and I stumbled upon this particular lot right in front of me and there is the other car blinking his indicator light furiously to claim the spot?
What would you do, if you were in this situation?
I am sure many would just say, “That is my parking spot to take, I was in the right direction and he is not”
That would be, the logical reply and one that many would agree with.
However, with that show of aggressiveness put on by the other driver who was clearly breaking the rules by going into a prohibited zone against the direction, will this warrant a fight over the parking lot?
I am going to say yes.
Things can turn really ugly in a car park; when people are just desperate to win a parking lot.
I can testify to that; for I have actually witnessed it myself before.
I am not afraid of the truth and justice in general, but it is a question of worth.
Technically, I would say I may claim the spot, because I was on the right.
Technically, reasoning and logic only work with reasonable people too, if I may say.

Does that mean that I would back off just because they are unreasonable?
Sometimes it is a choice one would have to make.
A wrong is a wrong, and the guy clearly knows he is in the wrong.
I did not actually give in because I was afraid of him; but because I wanted to park elsewhere.
If I wanted that spot, I would take it because it was rightfully on my side and I am pretty sure that guy knows it perfectly well.
What if the other driver is an unreasonable one who might even get down and smash your car when you are done or worse, hurt you just because of the parking lot?
That is the question of worth.
Still, a right is a right, and that I will write in another article.

The thing about this whole parking situation is about the direction and arrows pointing the direction.
It irks me that people are just going against the direction sometimes, and that they choose to defy that direction of the arrow.
It is not that the arrows are not visible; if you are a driver, you definitely know what I mean for these arrows are painted in bright yellow and they are big fat bolded arrows on the walls and even on the floors of the car park to ensure that people could see them.
All the time.
There is simply no excuse for not following them; unless the arrows are not visible.

I am not saying that I am such a perfect person and that I have never gone against the arrows; for I have, because I was not aware of the arrows which were not clearly visible and there was once when I was reporting to work in an entirely new building unfamiliar to me. It was unintentional, for I thought it was a two-way street and my colleague was telling me that it was not. I felt awful and vowed never to do it again.

The arrows are always there, for a purpose, and the purpose is to maintain the smooth traffic flow.
They are not there as decorations and they are to guide the drivers in the right directions.
It is annoying when drivers choose to go against the direction where the arrows are pointing, and create chaos on the road.
(Arrows are not only in the car parks but also on the road and practically everywhere. Even pedestrians do have arrows to guide them in the lanes to stay on while giving way to others coming in the opposite direction to avoid clashes).


Arrows indicate the direction and to loudly tell you that it is a one-way street; in THAT direction the arrow is pointing. When you choose to defy the arrow, you are actually negating the planned traffic flow and it is actually a recipe for traffic disaster and chaos.
It was clearly a selfish act, for it was for your own convenience when you choose to drive against the arrow’s direction just because you saw that parking lot but what about the others who were stuck haphazardly because of your single misconstrued sense of direction?
Just because of your single need for a parking lot, you could have caused a massive traffic jam.

The same goes for those who walk on the opposite side of the road (this applies to those who take the subway daily) where there are arrows on the staircase to guide people to keep to their sides to avoid human collisions. It is hazardous to go against the arrows especially in peak hours.
Imagine the crowd who are following the right direction and one single person appears facing them (from the opposite side). Many would consciously avoid them, but in masses, it could cause a stir in the system which could result in something worse; stampedes and injuries when one accidentally falls over and pushed others in effect.

Arrows are part of rules (read my earlier article on Rules here) and they are meant to be adhered.
This is part of the situation where the arrows are to be followed whether there is anyone watching or not, for it is not as simple as just convenience.
I still follow the directions of the arrows even on an empty road, an empty carpark and even passageway, simply because I do not like to mess up the intended system.

Read the arrows, open your eyes and just follow.
It is simple, isn’t it?

Unless you have a bad sense of direction or geometry, or you don’t have a sense of direction at all.
Then I suggest you seek medical help and stay off the road, thank you very much.

I am sure the public would appreciate that you do not appear on the roads either.

In case you do not know, THIS, is an ARROW


Class dismissed.

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