News

Road safety experts urge caution

Parents must be acutely aware that their young children face unpredictable dangers on the road.

And drivers must in turn be as acutely aware that children can be unpredictable.

Road safety experts, reacting to the straying child shown in the video, were aghast.

Said driving safety expert Gerard Pereira: "It's the parents' fault because at that age, you don't know what is happening. If the parents were holding the child, it won't happen.

"I have seen in the heartland, in unforeseen circumstances, a caregiver having three children to take care of. It is impossible to hold on to all of them."

Added Mr Gopinath Menon, vice-chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council: "I think toddlers have no idea of when to cross the road because they can't judge the distance or the danger, so parents should always hold their hands."

Mr Pereira, the manager at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, also feels that drivers, "especially those in the heartland areas", should travel slowly, at a speed of "30 to 50kmh".

"Although the official speed limit is usually 60kmh in the heartland, there is high human traffic.

"Drivers should look out for children, especially younger ones, and reduce speed to prevent accidents.

"If you drive fast, even if you notice the child and try to avoid him, you may end up hitting another vehicle because you cannot brake fast enough."

Drivers must know that children do not follow pedestrian rules, road safety experts told The New Paper.

Mr Pereira added: "Drivers must always be on the lookout for possible dangers."

"If you see a child by the edge of the kerb, anticipate that they may do something wrong and slow down."

Mr Pereira felt that the child was lucky to escape unhurt.

"The driver was very lucky to have seen the child, even though it was at night," he said.