140 roads shortlisted for speed camera study

A speed camera along Boon Lay Way. The police said the study "will help to provide information such as optimal allocation of cameras... and where to place the speed cameras for effective deterrence".
A speed camera along Boon Lay Way. The police said the study "will help to provide information such as optimal allocation of cameras... and where to place the speed cameras for effective deterrence".ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Roads in HDB estates like Yishun and residential areas included on list

Speedsters beware.

The police are installing more speed cameras and have shortlisted 140 roads to study whether new cameras can be installed to nab those who speed.

The list, obtained by The Straits Times, threw up some surprises.

Besides expressways where there are already permanent speed cameras and main roads such as Lornie Road where portable speed cameras are known to be used extensively, the list also included roads in Housing Board estates in Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Woodlands and Yishun.

Laid-back residential enclaves such as Serangoon Garden and Picadilly Circus near Seletar, where the speed limit is 50kmh, were also shortlisted.

The move follows a 6 per cent rise in the number of speeding tickets issued from 245,427 in 2012 to 260,512 last year.

Confirming the study, the police said it "will help to provide information such as optimal allocation of cameras... and where to place the speed cameras for effective deterrence".

But the police would not disclose how many permanent speed cameras are being used now or how many new ones they were looking to install.

The police said only that nearly 260 digital red light and speed cameras will be installed by the first half of next year.

They did not give a breakdown, but most of the 260 are cameras to capture motorists who drive past red lights, with only a small number of speed cameras, going by earlier reports.

There were 18 permanent speed cameras as at May 2012. On top of that, there are 56 known spots where the police use portable speed cameras to catch speedsters. They do not generally provide details of how these speed cameras are operated.

The police are also looking for experts to study accident trends on 200 roads, including those shortlisted.

Experts and residents back the expansion of the speed camera network.

"It is about time," said Ms Lee Bee Wah, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, when told that Yishun Avenue 1 is on the shortlist. She has been lobbying in Parliament for a camera to be installed along that road since 2012, saying that vehicles speed there.

Added Mr Hri Kumar Nair, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law: "Speed cameras are effective in causing vehicles to slow down in areas where they are located."

But not all roads are suitable for installing speed cameras. "Long straight stretches, where drivers tend to go faster than normal, are candidates," said a veteran road engineer who asked not to be named because he is looking to take part in the study.

"It is okay to drive faster on expressways because they are designed for faster speeds, but we don't want to encourage speeding at the wrong places," he added.

While supporting the use of speed cameras, Mr Alvin Tan, who lives off Upper Bukit Timah Road which is shortlisted for the study, said sufficient warning must be given to motorists to slow down.

"The purpose of speed cameras is to encourage safe driving, not collect fines from unsuspecting drivers," said the 48-year-old senior vice-president of a Singapore Exchange-listed company .

"Without sufficient warning, drivers who brake suddenly when they see the speed cameras can cause accidents, and that is dangerous," he added.

tohyc@sph.com.sg