New Traffic Police test kit part of efforts to turn elderly into 'road masters'

East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say attends the launch of the Road Master Test Kit during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day.
East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say attends the launch of the Road Master Test Kit during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say attends the launch of the Road Master Test Kit during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day.
East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say attends the launch of the Road Master Test Kit during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
An attendee looks at a display at the Traffic Police's booth during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day.
An attendee looks at a display at the Traffic Police's booth during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say testing his sight at Traffic Police's booth during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day.
East Coast GRC MP Lim Swee Say testing his sight at Traffic Police's booth during the Bedok Community for All Ages Day.ST PHOTO: SEOW BEI YI

SINGAPORE - When crossing the road, how likely are you to notice a pothole from the corner of your eye, or the number on a bus in the distance?

These are some questions a new Traffic Police (TP) test kit aims to raise among senior road users.

With more accidents involving elderly pedestrians in recent years, TP launched the kit on Sunday (Nov 13) to heighten their road safety awareness.

In the first half of this year, 122 seniors were involved in accidents with 12 fatalities, up from 104 in the same period last year, with 10 fatalities.

Targeted at those aged above 60, Road Master Test Kits were distributed to up to 1,000 residents at the Bedok Community for All Ages day.

Another 5,000 kits will be given out at events and accident hotspots such as Chinatown, Toa Payoh and Serangoon after late January next year.

Comprising three parts, the kit allows the elderly to test their reflexes and sight in self-administering tests. It also includes a questionnaire on their hearing ability.

"The Road Master kit is one initiative designed to help the elderly understand how big an impact their health has on their safety on the roads," said Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Sam Tee, who is TP Commander. He added that TP is stepping up efforts to reduce the number of accidents involving the elderly, who are vulnerable road users.

Speaking to the media ahead of the launch, SAC Tee said the kit is more interactive compared to previous outreach efforts. TP hopes this can become a conversation starter within families, he added.

Bedok resident Annie Ng, 70, who works as a dish collector, was among those who tested their eyesight at TP's booth during Sunday's event.

"When we walk, we have to be wary because there may be uneven ground," said the grandmother of two, who intends to try out the kit at home. "This test reinforces the importance of safety. Sometimes, the elderly can be stubborn when you try to give them reminders."

MP Lim Swee Say, who was at the event, said senior citizens have different needs and it is important to help them as they age so they can live a productive and purposeful life.