More two-wheelers getting hurt on the roads
More motorcyclists were involved in road accidents in the first half of this year, the Traffic Police's (TP) half-year statistics revealed yesterday.
A total of 2,078 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents, a 5.8 per cent increase compared to the 1,964 in the same period last year.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) Sam Tee, Commander of the TP, expressed concern because in 60 per cent of accidents involving motorcyclists, other motorists were to blame.
He said: "We can implore (other motorists) to look out for the bikers. We know it's not easy, the road is always congested, but really the bikers are the vulnerable group...
"I think this is a part that if we can do better, we can reduce accidents, then we can reduce fatalities (of) bikers."
The top causes of motorcycle accidents were bikers and drivers failing to keep a proper lookout, not having proper control of one's vehicle, as well as not giving way to traffic that had the right of way.
AC Tee called on motorcyclists to take more care when using the roads, especially in bad weather.
"We have seen a rise in the number of injuries involving bikers. This is a concern for us because (bikers) are not protected by the shell of a vehicle," he said.
He added that the TP are looking at not just the 500,000 local motorcyclists, but also the "big group" of foreign motorcyclists who enter Singapore for work every day.
"TP are looking at how to work with them, bearing in mind that they're a big part of the economy. We want to ensure that they come to work safely and return home safely," AC Tee said.
That is not the only worrying statistic involving two wheelers.
More cyclists are also getting injured on the roads- 292 in the first half of this year, a 14 per cent increase from the 256 in the first half of last year.
Elderly pedestrians are also a concern. While the number of fatalities fell to 10 from 11 in the same period last year, more have been injured - 85 compared to 81 last year.
The TP said they would be increasing road safety awareness in seniors by holding a Road Safety Concert for the Golden Age in September, as well as enhancing the implementation of Silver Zones.
But it's not all bad news.
In other areas, the statistics have improved and there have been fewer fatalities on the roads. (See graphics below.)
Following the success of the digital speed enforcement camera system, which are in orange for better visibility, the TP will be doing the same to 240 red light cameras across Singapore.
To improve on road safety culture, the TP will be working with Comfort DelGro, Singapore's biggest taxi operator, which will feed information about red light cameras and speed cameras directly into the mobile data terminals of the company's taxis.
Starting from October, it will involve 2,000 taxis and the trial will last three months.
Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said of the new initiatives: "We hope this will help more motorists practise good driving habits... So others will be motivated to emulate them."
Safe driving pays
Some 1.2 million Singaporean motorists - or 64 per cent of those with a car or motorcycle licence - did not commit a traffic violation in the past five years.
These motorists will be rewarded with a letter of commendation from the Traffic Police, which can be exchanged for "Badge of Honour" car and bike decals at all Shell petrol stations.
The promotion runs from July 27 to Sept 30.
Next month, motorists spotted at Shell with the decals can win fuel vouchers and other exclusive gifts.
Mr Jason Leow, Shell Singapore's general manager of external relations, said: "We hope that motorists will be proud of this recognition and display their decals or stickers on their vehicles to inspire other motorists to keep Singapore's roads safe."
Touching on Shell's 50 years of partnership with the Traffic Police in promoting road safety, he added: "Shell will continue to support road safety programmes and encourage more motorists to drive responsibly so that all of us, as road users, can reach home safely to our loved ones every day."