WHAT'S TRENDING

All eyes on the road - courtesy of 'dashcams'

The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour P
The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour PSI had reached 316. ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN
The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour P
Netizens mocking a Radicalisation Awareness Kit released by Australia earlier last week. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS
The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour P
Some Singaporeans, likely older students, wasted no time in complaining that they still had to turn up for classes the next day. PHOTO: TWITTER/SIYU
The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour P
The hazy streets near AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio last Thursday night. There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9:30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced that primary and secondary schools would be closed the next day. The three-hour PSI had reached 316. Many Singaporeans frustrated by the haze expressed their exasperation in the form of humorous Twitter messages. Some Singaporeans, likely older students, wasted no time in complaining that they still had to turn up for classes the next day. Netizens mocking a Radicalisation Awareness Kit released by Australia earlier last week.ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN PHOTO: TWITTER/EDWARD THATCH PHOTO: TWITTER/SIYU PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Drivers are uploading in-car camera footage on social media to flag errant acts on roads

If there is one thing that seems more obvious with each passing week, it is that drivers in Singapore are almost always being watched.

And that is a good thing.

Earlier this week, police arrested a 50-year-old truck driver in connection with the death of a 25-year-old motorcyclist on the Pan-Island Expressway.

But, as it turns out, another vehicle might have been involved.

A 36-second video clip, shot from the rear-view camera of a vehicle way up in front, was put up by the Singapore Reckless Drivers Community on its Facebook page last Thursday.

  • NOTABLE TRENDS

  • HARI RAYA HAJI

    Last Thursday was Hari Raya Haji, which is celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca.

    POPE

    Pope Francis is on a trip to the US. He visited the 9/11 memorial in New York last Friday.

    IPHONE 6S

    The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores last Friday. Fans queued up early to get their hands on Apple's latest flagship phones, despite the haze.

The clip showed a sports utility vehicle bumping into the motorcycle, causing the rider to lose control and crash into the truck.

While investigations are ongoing, it is evident that the clip, which has so far attracted more than 670,000 views, will help shed light on the tragedy.

This is not the first time dashboard cameras have helped to clear the air. Another incident caught on tape this weekend showed a red car going against the flow of traffic. A subsequent video, taken by another user, revealed that the vehicle had got into an accident shortly after. Both videos were uploaded by Beh Chia Lor - Singapore Road, an online community against reckless driving.

Or how about an incident in April where a TransCab taxi driver was recorded knocking down a jogging pedestrian in Bukit Merah. He was eventually identified, thanks to the video.

Such footage is becoming increasingly common as more drivers upload their "dashcam" footage onto social media.

While it certainly means less privacy, it also reminds drivers to adhere strictly to the rules of the road.

Surely, that is worth something.

A HAZE TO REMEMBER

Singaporeans frustrated by the haze took to Twitter to express their exasperation, many of them in the form of humorous messages.

The social media platform has recorded more than 160,000 conversations with the hashtag #sghaze since Sept 10.

There were as many as 170 tweets a minute at about 9.30pm last Thursday, when the authorities announced the closure of primary and secondary schools. The three-hour PSI had reached 316.

Tertiary and university students wasted no time in lamenting the fact that they still had to turn up for classes the next day.

"They do realise that tertiary students are just a year older than the Sec 4 students right?" asked user RachelDuranoWan.

"(Because) when you are older, you become less human," said user joshuadunut.

Thankfully, conditions seem to have improved since.

PHARMACEUTICALS CEO BESIEGED

Hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli has not had a good week.

Through his firm, Turing Pharmaceuticals, he had acquired a 62-year-old anti-infective drug called Daraprim, which is often given to cancer and Aids sufferers.

His first sign of trouble began when he decided to raise the selling price of the drug from US$13.50 (S$19.20) a pill to a whopping US$750. But things took a dramatic turn for the worse only when he started bragging about it unashamedly on social media.

In one exchange, when told that middle-class folk dependent on the drug would be in debt for decades just to pay the bills, he replied: "Ain't my fault."

In another, when asked how he is able to sleep at night, he said "you know, Ambien", referring to a commonly used sedative.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Shkreli was vilified online. Internet vigilantes published not only his personal contact information, but also released the e-mail addresses of all his employees.

Even Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responded to the outrage, announcing on Twitter that she will soon release a plan to combat the high cost of prescription drugs. This promptly sent biotech stocks tumbling.

Bowing to the pressure, Mr Shkreli eventually announced that he would lower the price of the drug, but not before setting his Twitter account to private.

CASE STUDY: KAREN

Australians have gone online to mock a Radicalisation Awareness Kit released by the country's anti-terrorism minister earlier last week.

One of the case studies in the booklet focused on a girl named Karen, who became involved in the "alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism".

This soon turned into eco-terrorism and Karen, now a "soldier of the environment", found herself cut off from friends and family, and breaking the law with wild abandon.

Environmentalists, teachers and netizens were outraged that the government booklet had linked environmental activism and alternative music with violent extremism.

The #freeKaren hashtag started trending last Friday. It was soon followed by #IamKaren and #JeSuisKaren, which copied the hashtags used during the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year.

In a statement, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music said it "strongly objects to the linking of participation in the alternative music scene to radicalisation of any kind".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'All eyes on the road - courtesy of 'dashcams' What'sTrending'. Print Edition | Subscribe