KUALA LUMPUR: Getting into a car, starting the engine and driving off is a simple everyday task for many, but for Siti Zuraidah Muhammad Husain, who was born paralysed from the waist down – it is a triumph.
For 14 years now, the senior executive would wheel herself out of her house and push herself into her tiny car, before single-handedly dismantling and stowing away her wheelchair and starting her journey to work.
She drives a modified Perodua Kelisa that has hand controls to allow her to accelerate and brake without using her feet.
Though Siti Zuraidah has a family who would happily chauffeur her around, the 32-year-old says its a joy to do it on her own and prove that her disability does not make her a lesser driver.
Siti Zuraidah was named one of the most responsible drivers in the country by the police during the Ops Selamat 4/2014 road safety operation.
“Given my condition, the most important thing for me is my safety on the road. So I try my best to keep to the speed limit and signal. But it is scary sometimes because other people let their emotions affect their driving.
“They don’t pay attention to the OKU (disabled) sticker on my car and drive fast to cut in front of me abruptly.
“A lot of people do not like to follow the traffic rules,” she said.
Siti Zuraidah was one of 50 drivers who were given the Drivers With Integrity award by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar during a ceremony at the KL Sentral station yesterday.