$550,000 boost for road safety programmes

The Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) raised about $550,000 for road safety programmes and education campaigns at a gala dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel last night.

The SRSC is a charity set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs and its initiatives include the Singapore Road Safety Month and the Anti- Drink Drive campaign.

In a speech at the dinner, SRSC chairman Bernard Tay noted that Singapore's roads are getting safer, with fewer people killed in traffic accidents and a decrease in traffic violations.

There were 78 traffic fatalities in the first half of this year, a 12.4 per cent drop from the 89 in the same period last year.

The number of drink-driving arrests in the first six months this year also went down, by 15.9 per cent to 1,258, compared with the same period last year.

Mr Tay noted that there has been a steady decline in speeding and red light-running violations, which he attributed to the enhanced deterrent effect of the Traffic Police's new digital cameras.

Yesterday's dinner and concert, attended by outgoing Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, also featured the launch of the Automobile Association of Singapore's commemorative book, The Motoring 50, which looks at significant events and historical developments in the local motoring scene over the past 50 years.

Mr Tay said that despite the recent improvements in traffic safety, there has been an increase in the number of motorcyclists and elderly people injured in traffic accidents.

There were 25 elderly pedestrians killed last year, up from 17 in 2013, according to statistics from the Traffic Police. The number of motorcyclists injured on the roads rose about 6 per cent to 2,078 in the first half of this year, over the same period last year.

Mr Tay said that efforts must be stepped up to address these vulnerable road users.

"Road safety is a shared responsibility. It depends on the behaviour and attitude of every road user. The SRSC will continue to intensify its road-safety awareness programmes," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline '$550,000 boost for road safety programmes'. Print Edition | Subscribe