More motorcyclists die in the first four months this year

Newly qualified riders on the expressway, accompanied by their instructors, under the optional Expressway Familiarisation Ride course. In the first four months of this year, 32 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents, eight more than in the same
Newly qualified riders on the expressway, accompanied by their instructors, under the optional Expressway Familiarisation Ride course. In the first four months of this year, 32 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents, eight more than in the same period last year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - In the first four months of this year, 32 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents, eight more than in the same period last year.

Calling it a worrying statistic, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said that motorcyclists have a big role to play in preventing traffic accidents by exercising greater care on the road.

"The importance of safe riding cannot be over-emphasised as motorcyclists are still consistently one of the most vulnerable road users in Singapore, accounting for nearly half of all road fatalities," he said at the launch of the Singapore Ride Safe 2014 campaign at Republic Polytechnic yesterday.

Since the launch of the Safer Roads Singapore action plan last year, several road initiatives aimed at equipping motorcyclists with road safety knowledge and skills have been implemented.

These include a 100-minute Expressway Familiarisation Ride programme that must be completed before a new Class 2B license can be obtained. Some 3,700 learner riders completed this course last year.

But at the end of the day, responsibility for riding safely still lies with every motorcyclist himself, said Dr Faishal.

"While we continue to implement initiatives to improve safety, it is even more important for all motorcyclists to take ownership of their own safety and that of their pillion riders," he said. "Road tragedies can be prevented if riders remain vigilant and obey traffic rules when on the roads."

He also encouraged motorcyclists to choose motorcycles appropriate for their build and take the time to practise after upgrading to a more powerful bike. Motorcyclists should also plan their routes in advance and invest in proper protective clothing, he added.

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