Fewer traffic accidents resulting in deaths and injuries: Heng Swee Keat

Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat with Aqil Nabic, 6; Mr Ang Hak Seng, chief executive director of the People's Association; Aniq Shabic, 7; Mr Jaidi, 39; and mother behind Ms Zaiton, 41. Mr Heng is promoting positive road safety behaviour in Tam
Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat with Aqil Nabic, 6; Mr Ang Hak Seng, chief executive director of the People's Association; Aniq Shabic, 7; Mr Jaidi, 39; and mother behind Ms Zaiton, 41. Mr Heng is promoting positive road safety behaviour in Tampines. Mr Heng said there were about 6,000 traffic accidents resulting in deaths and injuries on Singapore's roads between January and November last year. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Road traffic accidents that resulted in fatalities and injuries dipped just under 6,000 cases between January and November last year.

This was about 11 per cent lower than the 6,612 cases over the same period in 2012. But despite efforts by the authorities to improve road safety around schools, there are still some accidents involving young children on the road, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday. "Every life lost is a tragic loss and we know that many of these accidents can be prevented," he added.

The minister was speaking at the launch of a community programme to promote road safety in Tampines. The initiative involved some 200 National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) cadets from Tampines secondary schools and 100 People's Association (PA) grassroots leaders and volunteers, who fanned out in the estate to share tips about being a safe cyclist, pedestrian or passenger.

Saturday's event was part of the 'Spot It, Stay Safe Programme', which is the first collaboration between the PA, the executive committee of the Community Emergency and Engagement Committees Council and the NPCC. The PA plans to roll out the programme islandwide by next year and involve more uniformed groups.

During his speech Mr Heng also referred to the fatal accident last year which claimed the lives of Yap brothers Nigel, 13, and Donavan, seven, after they were hit by a cement-mixer truck in Tampines.

"While we ask our children to do their part to obey and promote road safety, we as adults must not forget that children see the world through us," he said. "Let us be good role models and obey traffic rules ourselves and let us take extra effort to be vigilant on the roads, especially in areas where children will congregate."