PROS & CONS: For most people, why the SM escalator etiquette just doesn't cut it

PROS & CONS: For most people, why the SM escalator etiquette just doesn't cut it
There are "walkers" and there are "standers."

The SM Supermalls released a video over the weekend the "escalator etiquette" campaign, encouraging their customers to stand on right and walk on left.

The nearly-viral video plans to make the SM malls more stair-friendly obviously imitating the western rules while on board escalators.

The side chosen for the "standers" is on the right, so that the "walkers" can do left and would not have to cut into a standing line of people to exit.

In certain countries, for instance Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, riders stand on the left and walk on the right, following the road rules. Of course, here in the Philippines, it's the other way around.


1. Good exercise. Walking may be the simplest way to work out. You can do it almost anywhere, and it’s a snap to get started: Just put one foot in front of the other. With walking, your heart will get stronger, you’ll lower your blood pressure, and your bones will get stronger. Walking also eases stress, helps you sleep better, and can boost your outlook on life.

2. Speeds up the pace. For those always in a hurry, and for those who use the malls as short cut routes to make it to work (or to home) on time, the escalator etiquette is a bliss. No more dealing with "standers" clogging the stairs and no more slowing down the pedestrian flow.

3. Promotes good manners. Good manners are integral to a professional image. Not only does it make for a nicer environment, it is an advantage for a person's social skills. By way of etiquette, social skills can be strengthened and improved to last a lifetime. Good manners always reduces conflicts between two people.

4. Breaks the "broken window" attitude. If no one sees other people breaking rules, why should they? People only move according to two known behaviors: doing an action or doing an act of omission. When they see others breaking the rule or acting in compliance of a rule, they also tend to do the same.


1. Walking on escalators is a safety hazard, says engineers. Engineers who designed the escalators find the mechanical stairs as dangerous. It’s so dangerous that they even installed warning labels on them (we're sure everybody has seen them already) which says, "Hold on to the hand rail." Holding on to the hand rail is equivalent to standing still while on board the escalator.

2. Walking on escalators creates loss of balance. According to a study from Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railways (MTR),  in the first seven months of 2015, of the 382 escalator accidents that were recorded, 43 per cent were due to people falling because they move, or walk along the escalator. So the result of the accident rate indicates if they stand they will be safer. Francis Li, MTR’s head of operating, said that even 20 years ago the mass transit company encouraged people to stand on the escalator and not move for safety reasons.

3. Long clothes/shoelaces can get caught when you walk. Clothes and shoelaces can get sucked into the machinery causing severe injuries, sometimes even death. The rationale behind this is when a person wearing long clothes walk on the escalator, the textile tips of the clothes can get trapped into the slits of the stairs. And when textile gets inserted, it would continuously loop around the metal apparatus, swallowing the whole set of clothes in the process.

It's pretty straightforward for the "walkers" to get all excited about the new SM escalator etiquette. This would get them faster to their destinations cutting every minute spent on the journey.

But for the "standers," safety is most important. Standing on the escalator only takes one minute. For them, that is the safest way to travel on the escalator. They are the ones who still think we should place safety on top of convenience and efficiency issues.

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PROS & CONS: For most people, why the SM escalator etiquette just doesn't cut it PROS & CONS: For most people, why the SM escalator etiquette just doesn't cut it Reviewed by Emong Tan on 10:46 PM Rating: 5

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