Motorcyclists urged to be more vigilant on the roads

A motorcyclist riding closely to a heavy vehicle in Woodlands Avenue 12 yesterday. Being more exposed than other motorists makes motorbike riders the most vulnerable road users, with 4,875 motorcyclists and their pillion riders injured last year, a 5
A motorcyclist riding closely to a heavy vehicle in Woodlands Avenue 12 yesterday. Being more exposed than other motorists makes motorbike riders the most vulnerable road users, with 4,875 motorcyclists and their pillion riders injured last year, a 5 per cent rise from 2014.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Motorbike safety back in the spotlight after fatal accident in Jalan Buroh last Thursday

Last year, an average of 13 motorcyclists or their pillion riders were injured daily in traffic accidents here.

Yet despite being the most vulnerable road users, motorcyclists are often complacent too, said motorbike enthusiasts.

Last Thursday, a 42-year-old Malaysian rider was killed after squeezing between two big trucks in Jalan Buroh in heavy traffic.

Mr Dave Ng, chairman of the Singapore Transport Association, said: "Motorcyclists may assume that they can squeeze past them (heavy vehicles), but it is unfortunate if the driver misses an individual (blind) spot and ends up in an accident."

Deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport Ang Hin Kee said risky behaviour includes "weaving between vehicles to avoid jams and riding in the rain, when roads are slippery and visibility is poorer".

Traffic Police numbers show that last year, 4,875 motorcyclists and their pillion riders were injured, a 5 per cent rise from 2014.

  • 13 Motorcyclists or pillion riders were injured daily on average last year

    31 of them died in accidents in the first half of this year

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

Transport GPC chairman Sitoh Yih Pin said: "No amount of time-saving can justify riding dangerously and putting their lives at risk."

Mr Norman Lee, general secretary of the Singapore Motor Cycle Trade Association, said there is a need to increase defensive riding skills for motorcyclists, especially delivery riders. "Some may wear comfortable and lighter clothes, which are not as safe."

In August, the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council launched the Singapore Ride Safe 2016 campaign. They want delivery companies that employ riders to ensure they don proper riding gear, including jackets.

Last year, 10 people died in work-related traffic accidents. In 2014, there were six such fatal accidents.

The "ride safe" message should also be extended to Malaysian riders, said a spokesman for SGSuperriders, a motorcycle group that organises road trips to West Malaysia.

Some 40,000 Malaysian motorcyclists travel to Singapore daily, mainly for work. "These are the ones who are problematic, because safety education cannot reach them," said the SGSuperriders spokesman.

Between July and this month, there were three reported cases of fatal accidents involving Malaysian motorcyclists.

There are no specific figures for Malaysian motorcyclists and pillion riders injured in accidents.

•Additional reporting by Adrian Lim


Recent accidents involving motorbikes

Nov 24

A 42-year-old Malaysian rider was killed after he was run over by a container truck. He had squeezed between two trucks in Jalan Buroh, a two-lane road that leads to a roundabout with exits to the West Coast Highway and West Coast Road.

Oct 19

A 27-year-old Malaysian rider died in an accident in Tuas West Road. A lorry made a right turn after leaving a factory and collided with the oncoming motorcyclist, who was pinned underneath it.

Sept 19

A Deliveroo driver suffered leg injuries after an accident in Little India, which involved his motorcycle and two cars.

Sept 8

A motorcyclist and a pillion rider were injured in an accident in Sims Avenue, at a traffic junction. The motorcyclist was earlier seen riding against traffic flow along Geylang Road.

July 30

A 53-year-old from Malaysia was killed in an accident on the Bukit Timah Expressway, near the expressway's Woodlands Avenue 3 exit in the direction of Woodlands Checkpoint. The motorcyclist had collided with a car.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 27, 2016, with the headline 'Motorcyclists urged to be more vigilant on the roads'. Print Edition | Subscribe