Crackdown on errant heavy vehicle drivers

A lorry driver caught using his mobile phone while driving along the Central Expressway, during the Traffic Police's enforcement operations against heavy vehicle drivers yesterday, which resulted in 62 summonses being issued against 28 drivers.
A lorry driver caught using his mobile phone while driving along the Central Expressway, during the Traffic Police's enforcement operations against heavy vehicle drivers yesterday, which resulted in 62 summonses being issued against 28 drivers.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

News of month-long blitz follows string of fatal accidents involving such vehicles

Heavy vehicle drivers who flout traffic rules will be the target of a month-long operation to clamp down on errant driving in such vehicles, the Traffic Police announced yesterday.

Four people have died in the first half of the month in accidents involving heavy vehicles, with three taking place this week alone.

A combination of covert and overt operations will be conducted daily, the traffic authority said at a press conference.

This comes as figures show traffic violations by heavy vehicle drivers rose 13 per cent to 18,591 last year, from 16,413 in 2015.

The top three violations were speeding, failing to keep left on expressways and using mobile communication devices while driving.

There is also a higher number of incidents involving heavy vehicles in which people have died: 19 so far this year, compared with 16 in the same period last year.

The figure does not include the latest fatal accident, which occurred on Thursday.

  • 18,591

    Number of traffic violations committed by heavy vehicle drivers last year.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, gave two possible reasons for this increase in violations.

"First, more motorists have in-vehicle cameras that can record violations by other motorists. Second, many heavy vehicle drivers are paid per trip. Hence, they might be more likely to speed, so as to earn more," said Mr Ang.

Mr Gerard Pereira, 60, a training manager at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, said it is important to be more stringent in ensuring the rules are followed by heavy vehicle drivers, as a deterrent against poor driving habits.

He said: "Due to the nature of heavy vehicles, a small action, like failing to signal, can have a big impact on surrounding vehicles. It might cause smaller cars to have to make drastic movements."

During the enforcement operations yesterday, 62 summonses were issued against 28 drivers.

The Straits Times accompanied a two-man team in an unmarked car which caught five errant motorists in two hours, for offences like failing to wear a seatbelt.

Three people have died this week in incidents involving heavy vehicles, with the latest occurring on Thursday (see sidebar).

On Monday, an electric-bicycle rider, 59, died after colliding with a prime mover at the junction of Lorong 13 Geylang and Sims Avenue.

Two days later, a 69-year-old cyclist died after she was hit by a lorry while cycling at the junction of Seletar Road and Jalan Joran.

Last year, three in 10 fatal accidents involved a heavy vehicle. Heavy vehicles are those with unladen weights of more than 2,500kg. They include prime movers, tipper trucks and buses.

Some drivers are unhappy that they are being targeted.

"It is unfair as Uber drivers can just take calls any time, but we cannot - we also have to answer customers' calls," said salesman Tan Soo Chor, 61, who has a Class Five licence and has been driving for more than 40 years.



ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Clampdown on errant drivers of heavy vehicles

The Traffic Police will be running month-long enforcement operations to clamp down on heavy vehicles that flout traffic rules, it was announced yesterday. This will take place through a combination of covert and overt operations conducted daily. Some of them will be supported by the Land Transport Authority and National Environment Agency. The move comes on the back of three fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles this week. Traffic violations committed by drivers of heavy vehicles rose 13 per cent to 18,591 last year, from 16,413 cases in 2015.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'Crackdown on errant heavy vehicle drivers'. Print Edition | Subscribe