Riding and motoring community discuss road safety
Lane switching, speeding & carelessness among issues raised at road safety event
Oh, the irony.
Retiree Philip Xavier, 70, was riding his scooter to a seminar on safe riding yesterday when he was nearly sideswiped by a bus.
He was near Stevens Road on the PIE at 8.40am when he noticed that a bus was coming closer and closer to him.
Mr Xavier said: "Seeing the bus nearing was like seeing a big monster coming towards me as I was just this little thing on a scooter."
Fearing for his safety, Mr Xavier slowed down and even had to swerve into the vehicle breakdown lane to allow the bus to go first.
He described this experience about how vulnerable riders can be during the Singapore Ride Safe 2015 event, held yesterday at the Harley Davidson Showroom at Alexandra Road.
The dialogue, organised by Traffic Police, saw the riding and motoring community coming together for a discussion to build a better road culture in Singapore.
About 40 participants, from motorcycle interest groups to general motorists, took part in the discussion and raised some issues about the attitudes and habits of road users towards road safety.
One of the participants was The New Paper's Biker Boy, Mr Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, 44, who writes a weekly column on bikes.
Mr Zaihan said: "It's encouraging to hear so many different voices raising issues which they are passionate about as road safety requires different opinions and different approaches.
"And hopefully drivers will realise that when they drive recklessly, it is not only they who get hurt but their family members as well."
Among the issues discussed were:
COURTESY & ROAD CULTURE
Lane switching, speeding and carelessness were some of the issues raised about Singapore road users, and some felt that this could be due to Singapore's road culture and lack of courtesy on the roads.
Many cited their positive experiences in Europe and Australia where road users did not switch lanes and went at the speed they were supposed to, which they see lacking in Singapore.
While some felt that traffic laws should be made stricter and heavier fines meted out on traffic offenders, others felt that Singapore's road culture should change first.
Assistant Commissioner Sam Tee, 45, who is commander of Traffic Police, said: "We see Singapore road users being more gracious now and we hope to bring that graciousness from off roads to on roads, so that Singapore's road culture can be improved and it will be safer for everyone."
Together with other participants, Ms Joyce Leong, 59, founder of cycling club Joyriders, discussed how education on road safety should start early.
Ms Leong said: "Road safety education should not come just from Traffic Police, it should start with ourselves. The younger children should start learning about road safety, maybe even from kindergarten."
Some also raised the issue of how parents may not be the best role models for their children as they may be aggressive drivers and children may emulate their driving behaviour later on.
MALAYSIAN ROAD USERS
The issue that was most discussed was that of Malaysians using our roads.
While some said the Malaysian road users they encountered followed traffic rules, there were others who felt they should be educated on road safety as they are also sharing Singapore's roads.
Assistant Commissioner Tee said: "We agree on reaching out and educating Malaysians who drive or ride to work here as we see them as a vulnerable group of road users (who are) no different from Singapore users.
"We want to see them come to work safe and go home safely to their families."
DID YOU KNOW...
motorcyclists and their pillion riders were injured in traffic accidents in 2014, a 5.7 per cent rise from 4,383 in 2013.
motorcyclists died in 2014 up from 72 in 2013 .
Approximate number of motorcyclists on our roads
Top three motorcycle violations
- Running red lights
- Careless riding
Top three causes of accidents
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Failing to have proper control
- Failing to give way to traffic with right of path
Motorcyclists are aware of road safety, yet...
overtake or switch lanes without signalling when traffic is light.
run through amber lights when traffic is light.