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Figures cause for concern

Rising number of motorcyclists killed in road accidents

When yet another accident involving a motorcycle here ends in a fatality, alarm bells start to ring.

Why so many? And why so often?

Yesterday, a man riding a Malaysia-registered motorcycle was killed along the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) towards Changi, just before the Thomson Road exit.

He was travelling along the PIE at about 6am when he lost control of his bike and collided with a tipper truck, Shin Min Daily News reported.

The motorcyclist was flung onto the expressway and was run over by a truck. Last year, 3,726 people were hurt or killed in accidents involving motorcycles. Of that, 72 died.

And in the first two months of the year, 23 motorcyclists and pillion riders were killed in traffic accidents.

This figure is higher than the number of fatalities in the same two-month period of the last two years - 15 last year and 19 in 2012.

The Traffic Police are so worried that they introduced a slogan - "Ride for Life" - for their road safety campaign for motorcyclists.

CAMPAIGN

The slogan, introduced in February for the Singapore Ride Safe campaign, is to remind motorcyclists to observe road safety at all times as they owed it to their loved ones to make it home safely every day, the Traffic Police told The New Paper.

Mr Roderick Chen, a motorcyclist for three years, felt that the best way for bikers to stay safe is to follow what was taught at driving school.

"I make sure I wear a full-face helmet before I ride," said the 24-year-old university student.

He added: "I try to avoid riding during peak hours. Trying to beat the traffic often causes motorcyclists to enter blindspots and accidents happen."

But it is not just motorcycles. Fatalities from accidents involving heavy vehicles rose from 32 in 2012 to 44 last year.

Yesterday's accident resulted in two lanes of the PIE being closed to traffic. According to the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) Twitter account, the congestion stretched to Upper Bukit Timah Road and the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), which is over 10km away from the accident site.

Motorist Sim Pei Keedrove past the accident site and was horrified to see the motorcycle wedged in the right rear wheel of the tipper truck.

"I thought to myself, 'The motorcyclist must surely have been badly injured,'" the 34-year-old Malaysian told TNP. He only realised later that the rider was killed.

A few other accidents also occurred on the PIE and this contributed to the congestion.

Police said they were alerted to another accident involving four cars at 6.56am along the PIE towards Changi, just 300m from the first accident site, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

A witness, who wanted to be known only as Mr Huang, told the paper that the front and rear of one of the cars were smashed. It is believed that one of the four cars had failed to brake in time.

LTA also reported two more accidents in the same area on its Twitter feed. One occurred at 6.39am after the Thomson Road exit on the PIE towards Tuas. The other occurred at 7.15am on the BKE towards the PIE before the Mandai Road exit

- Additional reporting by Kok Yufeng

NUMBER OF RIDER & PILLION RIDER CASUALTIES

3,726

2013

4,370

2012

Source: Trafffic Police