Singapore

Number of drink-driving accidents down in first nine months

Fewer drink-driving accidents occurred in the first nine months of this year, which had 114 cases compared with 130 in the same period last year.

The number of offenders caught for drink driving also fell, from 1,568 to 1,486 in the same period, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling yesterday.

"Nevertheless, every fatality or accident is still one too many," she said at the launch of the annual anti-drink-driving campaign at Clarke Quay.

The campaign, organised by the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council, is a continuation of last year's, with the tagline Drink and Drive is a Deadly Mix.

ITEMS

The tagline will be featured on items such as ez-link cards, keychains and mobile phone ring holders, which will be distributed to patrons of entertainment outlets during the year-end festive season.

Campaign messages will also be displayed on electronic boards on expressways and in major roads to remind motorists to practise safe driving.

In her speech, Ms Sun, who is also the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, reminded motorists not to drive if they are drinking during the festive period.

"Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely - your judgment and ability to react to the changing situations on the road will be impaired," she added.

She urged non-drivers to remind those around them not to drive if they know they have been drinking and not to take a lift from someone who has consumed alcohol, and instead stop them from driving.

Entertainment outlets should also remind their customers not to drive after drinking and provide options such as overnight parking or valet services, said Ms Sun.

She noted that Parliament recently passed harsher penalties for drink driving under amendments to the Road Traffic Act in July, which have been in force since Nov 1.

Under the changes, penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol have been doubled.

A first-time offender faces up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000 to $10,000.

He can also be disqualified from driving for at least two years.

Penalties will be higher if the drink driving results in harm.

COURT & CRIME