Singapore

More people reporting bad road conduct

This article is more than 12 months old

Traffic Police got over 18,500 public feedback messages last year

More people are reporting bad behaviour on the roads to the Traffic Police (TP), with the number of summonses related to public feedback having increased 1.5 times in five years.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, TP revealed that it issued 2,500 summonses last year as a result of public feedback. In 2014, there were 1,700 such summonses.

The total number of summonses issued by TP rose from 152,700 in 2015 to 181,000 last year.

In all, TP received a total of 18,500 feedback messages last year from the public on irresponsible driving - more than double the number five years ago, 6,900 in 2014.

A spokesman for TP said most of the public information came through the Singapore Police Force's online feedback portal, launched in 2014.

Common behaviours highlighted were speeding, running red-light signals and dangerous or reckless driving, he added.

In recent years, several road safety interest groups have sprung up on social media. They use videos captured by vehicle dashboard cameras to call out irresponsible motorists and other road users.

One such group is Roads.sg, which has a Facebook following of more than 219,000.

Its founder Aloysius Fong, 62, said the site receives up to 10 videos of unsafe driving behaviour daily, with about half of them related to motorists beating a red-light signal.

Other communities include Beh Chia Lor at more than 131,000 followers, Singapore Reckless Drivers with over 130,000 followers, and SG Road Vigilante with more than 48,000 followers.

If the video contains an incident of irresponsible driving behaviour, Mr Fong would usually forward it to TP via the online portal on behalf of the contributors.

While more people are using dashcam videos to call out bad behaviour on the roads, this may not necessarily mean the problem is getting worse, said transport analyst Gopinath Menon.

"This was probably already happening before, but they were never captured on videos.

"It's possible that today we are more aware because of social media," said the senior research fellow at Nanyang Technological University.

BEING WATCHED

"If people are aware that they are being watched, the hope is that they will be more careful," he added.

To curb irresponsible driving, the authorities may soon raise penalties for dangerous and careless driving, as well as road traffic offences such as illegal U-turns.

Beyond penalties, Mr Menon said there are other ways to improve road safety.

"Enforcement is one way, but it is not possible to do 100 per cent enforcement," he said.

"Education and road infrastructure must all work together."

COMMUNITY ISSUES