Main job of bus driver is to drive safely, not aid in directions

There are big display boards at almost every bus stop, depicting the route and roads taken by each and every bus service serving the stop.

Why should anyone who understands English need to ask the bus driver ("Bus drivers must know the road names along their route" by Mr Chen Tze-Hui; Jan 19)?

There have been occasions when a commuter "challenges" a bus driver in English by asking about road names and places.

The person seems to revel in his or her command of English to belittle and embarrass the driver.

It is not uncommon to see people standing at the door asking for directions.

There are also times when a passenger is seen bickering with the driver while the bus is moving.

Once, I heard a middle-aged woman screaming at a driver in Mandarin, saying: "This is Singapore. If you don't know English, go back to where you came from."

The primary and most important task of a driver is to drive people safely from one place to another.

Good driving skills, knowledge of the Highway Code and a good attitude towards people are qualities the bus company should look for when hiring.

It is not easy to hire drivers nowadays, let alone good ones.

People should find out the routes to their destinations before boarding. There are many ways of doing this. Drivers should not be obliged to answer questions.

The convenience and safety of the people in the entire bus should not be compromised by individuals seeking information to satisfy themselves.

Daniel Chan Wai Piew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2017, with the headline 'Main job of bus driver is to drive safely, not aid in directions'. Print Edition | Subscribe