Incident of young boy knocked down by car in Jurong West sparks debate on pedestrian safety

The boy was sent flying by an oncoming car after he dashed onto the road, with the driver's view obscured by a bus.
The boy was sent flying by an oncoming car after he dashed onto the road, with the driver's view obscured by a bus. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO

SINGAPORE - A heated debate has erupted on social media over an incident where a young boy was hit by a car while dashing out from the front of a bus along Jurong West Street 81.

Footage of the incident, first posted on Facebook by user Suzy Adorabella Lyliana on Tuesday (July 12) and later shared among community sites like Roads.sg and All Singapore Stuff, has garnered several million views combined.

The boy, who appeared to have escaped serious injury after the impact sent him flying, was seen being tended to by some passers-by who stopped to help after the accident.

While some blamed the boy for being irresponsible and absolved the car driver of blame, others slammed the driver for apparently not rendering help.

But there was a consensus among netizens that young children - and pedestrians in general - needed to be educated on road safety.

Recent examples of pedestrians disregarding road safety include an elderly man who was knocked down by a motorcycle along Serangoon Road on July 8, and another young boy who narrowly avoided getting hit by a car as he was filmed weaving between cars on Balestier Road.

According to an advisory for pedestrians on the Singapore Road Safety Council website, the force from an  initial impact causes the primary injury to a pedestrian knocked down by an oncoming vehicle.

At over 50kmh, the speed of the vehicle often causes the victim to be thrown over the bonnet and possibly into the windscreen, leading to secondary injuries.

Should a victim be thrown over the vehicle's roof, he or she could land at the back and get hit by another vehicle.

And if a vehicle brakes suddenly, a victim could be thrown outward, with the vehicle running over the victim.


Here are some tips for pedestrians to follow to ensure they are safe on the road.


Senior citizens taking the role of pedestrians during the Shell Traffic Games at the Road Safety Park in East Coast Park on Sept 3, 2010. PHOTO: ST FILE

Always use pedestrian crossings

Overhead bridges, zebra crossings, underpasses and traffic signal lights are a pedestrian's best friends.

Raise a hand while crossing

This is to alert motorists of your presence - every little bit helps.

Use footpaths

And other walkways when possible.

Do not cross road bends

As your visual field is limited in this part of the road, you cannot see incoming vehicles, and drivers cannot see you.

Vehicle alert

Do not cross in front of a stationary vehicle and in between stationary vehicles.

Always wait for the bus to stop completely

If you are boarding or alighting from a bus.

Be alert for oncoming traffic

Watch out for oncoming traffic especially when you step out of a vehicle.

Walk in a single file

If you are walking in a group, always facing oncoming traffic.

Be seen, be safe

Wear light-coloured clothing when you are walking at night, or carry some reflective materials so that drivers can see you from a distance.

Adapted from the Singapore Road Safety Council website, via the "Handbook for Road Users" by Traffic Police