Heavy vehicles 'travel very fast' on West Coast Highway

A tipped trailer along West coast Highway.
A tipped trailer along West coast Highway. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The sound of heavy vehicles rumbling past is nothing new to residents who live in a block that overlooks the West Coast Highway.

But late on Thursday night, they heard a loud crash and screams that roused them from their sleep.

From their corridor, some of these residents living in Block 715, Clementi West Street 2, saw one man pinned under a trailer, a second on the road some distance away and a third walking around and screaming for help. Two crushed electric bicycles gave a hint of what had just happened.

Some of them rushed there to offer help. Childcare teacher Zuraidah Abu Bakar, 44, who was one of about 50 who gathered there, said she saw a helmet on the ground.

"The heavy vehicles here travel very fast, and last night it was especially busy," Madam Zuraidah told The Straits Times yesterday. "It is really dangerous for these (electric) vehicles to be on the road."

 
 
 

Of the three young men involved in the accident, two, aged 18 and 25, died. A 17-year-old survived.

The police have arrested the 34-year-old trailer driver for allegedly causing death by negligence.

Heavy vehicles are a common sight on the West Coast Highway, said residents. When The Straits Times was there at 6.30pm, 20 heavy vehicles could be seen passing by in just a minute.

However, no e-bikes were in sight. Residents said that when they do see them, many are on the West Coast Park Connector that runs near the block.

Others said that e-bike users can usually be seen on the roads on weekend mornings. Sometimes, families with young children even ride together, said Mr Gerard Zheng, 33, a property agent.

Heavy vehicle drivers who use the West Coast Highway said that while they have encountered several bicycles, they have not come across many e-bikes on the road.

Mr Chan Wee Heng, 38, who owns a fleet of eight 25-foot lorries that travel on the West Coast Highway, said: "Usually, we see bicycles. They may not be electric, but it is still dangerous because traffic is usually heavy with heavy vehicles on the highway."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'Heavy vehicles 'travel very fast' on West Coast Highway'. Print Edition | Subscribe