Safety’s place in a better quality of life
In Malaysia, road safety is a serious concern. Issues, such as reckless drivers and numerous road accidents, could be solved by altering the way in which we move and interact with our environment. Solutions to the problems of reckless drivers and inadequate safety standards can be created with efficiency in mind to create a more functional society for pedestrians and drivers, while reducing crime rates.
A significant proportion of driving-related fatalities stem from the belief that one can avoid the consequences from running red lights. Drawing from the concept of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, small police outposts which are entirely made out of completely opaque materials or one way mirrors can be built in unused but potentially useful space. An example of where such an outpost could be implemented is under a flyover, where there is an empty space over an area of high traffic.
The presence of these outposts will act as a deterrent towards those who may otherwise commit traffic violations and recklessly endanger the lives of their fellow drivers and pedestrians. As with the Panopticon, the mere potential of having an officer in the outpost will be a sufficient deterrent – as a result, the outposts do not always need to be occupied as drivers will be unable to determine whether they are being
watched or not. More police officers will not be required with the installation, causing a minimal impact to society and government expenditure on the salaries of government servants – this creates a passive deterrent that will require minimal upkeep without causing a visual obstruction for drivers.
In some areas of Malaysia, muggings are a major concern. The presence of these outposts will also act to reduce the crime rate in the immediate area, as there is now a higher risk of being caught. Further, having police officers located in an organised fashion around the city will also serve to minimise emergency response times, as an officer is likely to be stationed nearby the most common areas for motorway accidents and muggings.
In conclusion, the addition of these outposts would result in safer public conditions for both pedestrians and drivers by reducing the rates of motorway accidents and crime. By altering the way in which we interact with our environment in this manner, the overall quality of life may be increased through the improved sense of security provided.