Bikers need to be responsible for own safety
Accidents resulting in injuries on the rise, according to Traffic Police statistics
The latest figures announced at the 2016 Road Traffic Situation bring a big sense of relief.
Fewer bikers and pillions were killed last year, from 72 in 2015 to 62 last year, said the Traffic Police (TP).
Overall, the number of deaths in traffic accidents fell to 141 last year from 151 a year before.
Biker-related fatalities appear to be on a downward trend since 2014, when there were 74 deaths. And that isn't the only good news from the TP announcement.
Last year's death rate per 100,000 persons, which fell to 2.51 from 2.73 in 2015, was the lowest since 1981.
Bikers and pillion riders have always been regarded as vulnerable road users, given they are less protected in a crash than say passengers in a car.
But alarm bells within the two-wheel fraternity should have been ringing as figures show an increase in bikers and pillions getting hurt in accidents - from 4,634 injured in 2014, to 450 more last year.
A similar trend exists when other motorists are taken into consideration. There was a 2.7 per cent rise in accidents that resulted in injuries, from 8,058 in 2015 to 8,277 last year.
The common causes for accidents - for both motorcyclists and drivers alike - include failure to keep a proper lookout, to have proper control of their vehicles and to give way to traffic.
In the 2016 Singapore Ride Safe campaign, a safety pamphlet with a six-point safety check stated that self-skidding was the top cause for motorcycle accidents.
As bikers, if we do not make a conscious effort to ride safe and be dressed in protective biking attire, we would have contributed to another failure - ignorance.
The annual statistics tell us some important things. Yet, some of us turn a deaf ear when we say our climate is too hot to suit up.Some even tempt fate by speeding when they are not supposed to.
The good thing is that the number of speeding violations have gone down, from 186,838 in 2015 to 172,192 last year.
But there is no dodging the new Average Speed Camera (ASC).
When the ASC is deployed along Tanah Merah Coast Road next year, it will naturally upset some riders who enjoy riding fast or like to "clear carbon" on long roads like the stretches in Lim Chu Kang or Seletar West Link.
The good old days may be over because the ASC tracks a vehicle the moment it enters a monitoring zone, which can be as short as 100m or as long as 5km.
REINFORCING ROAD SAFETY
More studies would be needed before other ASCs are deployed, TP said, adding that it would continue to use various speed enforcement cameras - mobile and fixed speed cameras included - to reinforce road safety.
A risk assessment would be made to see if some roads are prone to accidents and incidents of speeding.
The system can tell the difference between a lorry, car and a motorcycle, based on the vehicle's radar signature.
If you're a law-abiding biker, there is nothing to worry about as there would be no surprises.
But you could expect fatality figures to drop even further.