Singapore Budget 2014: New safety zones for five towns to keep elderly pedestrians safe

Mr K. Rajandra, 83, a Yishun resident, on 11 March, 2014. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce new safety zones in five housing estates by the end of this year, in a bid to make the roads safer for elderly pedestrians. -- ST PHOTO:
Mr K. Rajandra, 83, a Yishun resident, on 11 March, 2014. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce new safety zones in five housing estates by the end of this year, in a bid to make the roads safer for elderly pedestrians. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) will introduce new safety zones in five housing estates by the end of this year, in a bid to make the roads safer for elderly pedestrians.

Named "silver zones", these areas will be fitted with additional infrastructure such as a centre divider in the middle of the road.

Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in Parliament on Tuesday that these silver zones will be piloted in Yishun, Jurong West, Bukit Merah, Marine Parade and Bedok, which have a high elderly population and relatively high accident rates involving the elderly.

"We are particularly focused on improving road safety for the elderly, who are over-represented in pedestrian accidents," he said.

He noted that although elderly pedestrians make up only 16 per cent of the population, they account for 40 per cent of all pedestrian fatalities.

The elderly population is also growing by an average of 32,000 each year, he added.

The silver zones are based on best practices overseas, such as in South Korea and New York City where similar zones have been established, he said.

Besides a centre divider in the middle of the road to give elderly pedestrians a place to rest, special markings will be painted on footpaths to guide the elderly to the nearest pedestrian crossings and transport amenities. Lifts will also be installed at pedestrian overhead bridges.

The measures will take into account specific site conditions and community feedback, Dr Faishal said.

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