Submit clips of road offences to us: Traffic Police

A four-vehicle accident on the Central Expressway (CTE).
A four-vehicle accident on the Central Expressway (CTE). ST PHOTO: DANIEL NEO

Don't just post them on Facebook, say police, send them to TP to help in investigations

Have camera footage of a car accident or traffic violation?

Well, do not just post it on Facebook but submit it to the Traffic Police (TP) as well. This would help investigations, say police, and make available critical information such as contacts of eyewitnesses.

Currently, motorists can report traffic violations at police stations or through TP's online feedback portal. In a period of four months since its launch last December, the online portal received almost 100 videos of traffic violations.

Now, the police hope that the followers of popular online Facebook groups Singapore Reckless Drivers, Roads.sg and Beh Chia Lor (Hokkien for horse cart road) will do more.

These groups, which have posted hundreds of in-car camera footage highlighting bad road use, have between 28,000 and over 90,000 followers each.

The groups say they can receive up to five videos a day, submitted by their followers.

The booming popularity of these online groups has helped shine the spotlight on road safety, said police. But it would help if these videos were also submitted to the authorities. When reports are made on the TP online portal, motorists have to undertake to testify in court, and provide video evidence or eyewitness' contacts.

"These videos open up discussions among the online community, who passionately share their views on the topics at hand," a police spokesman said.

"Some of these videos are posted or shared only on social media websites, but not submitted or reported to the TP, and this may hinder our investigations."

Several of these online videos put up by these groups have led to arrests. Last month, a motorcyclist was arrested after he posted a YouTube video of himself riding recklessly on his BMW machine.

Earlier this month, a BMW driver who was filmed tailgating, cutting into lanes abruptly and speeding by multiple motorists, was also hauled up for investigation.

Both videos have been shared widely on Facebook - the video of the motorcyclist, for instance, was shared almost 1,600 times.

Roads.sg and Beh Chia Lor said they are open to sharing information with the TP. They added that they do submit videos regularly but it could take up to three weeks before they get a reply.

"Right now, it seems like a video has to go viral before the police take notice," said Mr Aloysius Fong, who started Roads.sg in December last year. The group receives between three and five video submissions a day and has more than 36,000 followers.

Mr Fong, a 57-year-old businessman who set up the group because he loves cars, suggested that the TP could actively monitor posts on the site. Echoing Mr Fong, a spokesman for Beh Chia Lor also called for more proactive action.

Meanwhile, experts believe that the fear of being filmed and shamed online for on-road indiscretions has resulted in drivers being more cautious.

Mr Khaw Gim Leong, vice-president of operations at ComfortDelGro Driving Centre, felt the presence of cameras on the road has a psychological impact on motorists.

"I think it helps people be more mindful; over time, this would hopefully ingrain safe driving habits," said Mr Khaw.

"Right now, it seems like a video has to go viral before the police take notice," said Mr Aloysius Fong, who started Roads.sg in December last year. The group receives between three and five video submissions a day and has more than 36,000 followers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2015, with the headline 'Submit clips of road offences to us: Traffic Police'. Print Edition | Subscribe