Still a long journey for road safety
Number of elderly pedestrians killed up 47% from 2013 to 2014
When retiree Rukini Moh, 70, leaves home, she feels afraid.
Not because she might get lost but because she might get killed while crossing the road.
The Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) is concerned about road users like Madam Rukini and another group of road users: motorcyclists.
The SRSC held its third annual fund-raising gala dinner and concert last night at the Shangri-La Hotel. (See report on facing page.)
The SRSC reminded Singaporeans that although roads are getting safer, there is still work to be done.
Speaking at the event, chairman Bernard Tay said: "Road safety is a shared responsibility and, certainly, more can be done to cultivate good road sense among road users to make roads safer for all."
He said it would continue to promote its road-safety awareness programmes.
According to the SRSC, the number of traffic fatalities decreased by 12.4 per cent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year.
The Traffic Police reported that in the last four years, fatal road accidents have decreased by 22 per cent from 192 to 149.
But some concerns remain.
The Traffic Police said there were more fatal accidents involving the elderly.
The number of elderly pedestrians killed in accidents increased by 47.1 per cent, from 17 in 2013 to 25 last year.
These accidents were caused by motorists failing to keep a proper lookout and vehicles failing to give way to pedestrians.
Madam Rukini said: "When I go out, there is always a fear when I cross the roads. I cannot walk fast any more, so it makes me feel even more scared."
Last year, the Traffic Police introduced senior-friendly crossings, called Silver Zones.
They have features such as lower speed limits, more warning signs, new road markings and raised zebra crossings.
These zones are set up in towns with a high concentration of elderly residents.
As of last month, there were 15 such zones.
When these zones were launched, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Health at the time, Mr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, said: "As our population is ageing, the Land Transport Authority has taken steps to make our housing estates safer for seniors, beginning with locations with higher senior populations."
Motorcyclists and pillion riders form another group increasingly facing danger on the roads.
Last year, the Traffic Police reported that 4,631 riders were injured in road accidents.
This is a 5.7 per cent increase compared to 2013.
Most of these accidents occurred when riders failed to keep a proper lookout, have proper control or give way to traffic with right of way.
Undergraduate Jack Tan, 25, who has been riding for four years, said: "You cannot predict what the roads are like. Not everyone has good awareness.
"Bikes can weave in and out and cars can change lanes abruptly."
Motorcyclists should exercise caution as many accidents are preventable, urged The New Paper's resident Biker Boy Zaihan Mohamed Yusof.
He said: "Never think you are invincible. Take the steps to ensure that you are safe.
"Go for riding courses to refresh on how to keep yourself safe because roads are unpredictable."
Mr Zaihan also reminded motorcyclists about the importance of personal protective gear, such as gloves and jackets.
"Riding should never be a gamble, you should never leave it up to chance," he said.
"As our population is ageing, the Land Transport Authority has taken steps to make our housing estates safer for seniors, beginning with locations with higher senior populations."
- Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Health, Mr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim
SRSC, AA launch motoring book
The Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) held its third annual gala last night.
The council, which was set up in 2009 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, with the support of the Ministry of Transport, is a charity that runs road safety education campaigns and programmes for the community.
Last year, the SRSC raised about $400,000 at its gala dinner.
Yesterday's event also saw the launch of commemorative book The Motoring 50 - 50 Facts About Motoring In Singapore, published by the SRSC and the Automobile Association of Singapore.
The book, published in conjunction with SG50, chronicles significant motoring events in the last 50 years.
According to SRSC, funds raised will be used to fund road-safety awareness programmes which the SRSC carries out in conjunction with the Traffic Police.
Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence, was the guest of honour at the event.