'Stealth bikers' clamping down on traffic offenders

The two-man team from the Traffic Police's Special Operations Team on the new unmarked motorbikes on the roads yesterday along the Pan-Island Expressway.
The two-man team from the Traffic Police's Special Operations Team on the new unmarked motorbikes on the roads yesterday along the Pan-Island Expressway. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Online video shows new Traffic Police team going after errant drivers and motorcyclists

Motorists using mobile phones while driving, lorry drivers breaking speed limits and failing to keep left, and motorcyclists weaving across lanes recklessly - the Traffic Police's (TP) latest enforcers have been catching them all.

A video posted on the Use Your RoadSense Facebook page on Monday shows the TP's Special Operations Team (SOT) on black "stealth bikes" as they clamped down on errant drivers, like a speeding motorcyclist going against the traffic flow.

The two-minute clip has drawn over 300,000 views and more than 7,200 shares.

"These 'men in black' look out for common traffic offences, such as driving while using the mobile phone, and ensure that motorists are ever-alert on the roads - a timely reminder not to #PokemonGo and drive," the post said, referring to the popular Pokemon Go mobile game in which players catch virtual creatures using mobile devices.

The Singapore Police Force, which shared the video on its Facebook page, said the traffic situation continues to show improvements in various areas, but a minority of road users endanger the lives of others.

It added: "The TP will continue to take strict enforcement against such errant motorists even as we focus on education and enforcement efforts, reminding them that all road users have a role to play in keeping our roads safe."

Also called covert officers, the TP's stealth bikers have been on the roads since June. Clad in black jackets, the officers ride black 900cc motorcycles that are more manoeuvrable and have proven effective in curbing errant motorcyclists.

TP commander Sam Tee told The Straits Times that it was not easy for officers to go after motorcyclists in unmarked cars as they can lose sight of them in heavy traffic. In contrast, the "stealth bikes" are much more manoeuvrable.

TP statistics show that last year, 4,875 motorcyclists and pillion riders were injured, a 5 per cent rise from 2014. This group also accounted for almost half of all road deaths last year - 72 out of a total of 152.

In their first month of operations, TP's stealth officers detected more than 700 violations.

The SOT's officer commanding, Assistant Superintendent Firdous Haniff, 30, said the unmarked motorbikes have proven effective and that foreign police forces, such as those in Australia, employ similar tactics.

•Additional reporting by Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2016, with the headline ''Stealth bikers' clamping down on traffic offenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe