M-cyclist killed in crash with tipper truck

Police were alerted to the accident in Woodlands Centre Road yesterday at 5.58am. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene and the tipper truck driver was arrested for causing death by a negligent act.
Police were alerted to the accident in Woodlands Centre Road yesterday at 5.58am. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene and the tipper truck driver was arrested for causing death by a negligent act.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Woodlands accident is second one involving a Malaysian rider and heavy vehicle in 8 days

A motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a tipper truck in Woodlands Centre Road yesterday morning.

Police said they were alerted to the accident in Woodlands Centre Road towards Woodlands Avenue 3 at 5.58am.

A 51-year-old motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. The Straits Times understands that the victim, Mr Ng Boon Keng, is a Malaysian.

The tipper truck driver, 47, was arrested for causing death by a negligent act, police said, adding that investigations are ongoing.

This is the second accident involving a Malaysian motorcyclist and a heavy vehicle in eight days.

Last Thursday evening, Mr Loh Fook Siong, 42, was killed along Jalan Buroh, near the West Coast Highway. He was seen squeezing between two heavy vehicles and was later run over by one of them, a container truck.

Road-safety experts pointed out that both groups of road users tend to exhibit risky road behaviour, and called for more measures to bring down the fatalities.

Singapore Safety Driving Centre operations manager Gerard Pereira said: "Malaysian motorcyclists tend to ride quite fast - it's more rampant in the Woodlands area, especially near the Causeway.

"In the mornings, the riders are trying to get to work, and in the evenings, they are rushing back home. Some of them lane split, travelling in between vehicles at a very high speed. It's hard for heavy vehicles to see them. Still, the heavy vehicles could be at fault too."

Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said heavy vehicle drivers are often paid for each job they complete, leading them to rush from point to point to make more money.

"Companies should relook how they pay the drivers' salaries," Mr Tay added. He also said heavy vehicle firms can invest in telematic tracking technology in their fleets, to better monitor their drivers' behaviour on the road.

They should also consider sending their staff for safety training, such as courses offered by the Automobile Association which cater to commercial drivers, Mr Tay said.

Echoing Mr Tay's advice, Mr Pereira suggested that companies which employ Malaysian staff who ride to work can conduct safety talks and hand out brochures on safe riding.

Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said: "Motorcycle riders belong to one of the most vulnerable classes of motorists plying our roads daily.

"They should avoid weaving in and out of traffic and tailgating other vehicles, at all times. Safety is paramount."

Yesterday's incident was also the fourth fatal accident involving a motorcyclist in two weeks.

On Nov 23, a motorcyclist was killed in an accident along the West Coast Highway while trying to avoid a sapling bent over by strong wind. Two days earlier, a motorcyclist died after colliding with a lorry in Jalan Buroh.

In the first half of this year, 31 motorcyclists and pillion riders died in accidents. The figure was 36 in the same period last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'M-cyclist killed in crash with tipper truck'. Print Edition | Subscribe