Singapore

More than 3 oil spills on Singapore's roads every day

There were 6,500 oil spills on Singapore's roads in the last five years. That's an average of more than three oil spills every day.

But few of these incidents caused major traffic jams and required the resurfacing of roads, Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng told Parliament on Tuesday (March 1).

Past figures from the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Land Transport Authority (LTA) showed that of the 1,625 spills last year, only seven were bad enough that they required the resurfacing of roads.

Similarly, of the 1,597 spills in 2014, only two degraded the tarmac surfaces, necessitating the resurfacing of roads.

In recent years, LTA has claimed between $5,000 and $200,000 from involved parties for the cost of repairing the damaged roads, said Mr Ng.

The issue of oil spills was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after four major incidents happened in a span of five days – between Jan 29 and Feb 2.

All four cases required resurfacing works and stretches of roads to be closed for hours. One particular incident even resulted in traffic congestion for up to 12 hours.

Those cases are the only serious oil spill incidents to have happened so far this year, said Mr Ng.

"Both local and foreign drivers and vehicles were involved" in those incidents, he said in response to questions by MP Joan Pereira.

Mr Ng said most oil spills were caused by accidents or breakdowns.

He added that the LTA is considering imposing deterrent penalties on those responsible for such incidents.

At present, the Expressway Monitoring Advisory System (EMAS) signs do not highlight oil spills as they are often not the root cause of traffic incidents, said Nr Ng.

But LTA will review how the system can be improved to better inform motorists of road conditions.

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