Bikers still over-represented in road deaths, police to respond with multi-pronged approach

Malaysian-registered motorcycles leaving the Woodlands Checkpoint on the way to their workplaces.
Malaysian-registered motorcycles leaving the Woodlands Checkpoint on the way to their workplaces.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Motorcyclists remain over-represented in road deaths even as the total number of road deaths has dropped.

Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee pointed out that 74 motorcyclists died in road accidents last year, accounting for almost half of the 155 road deaths. This compares with 160 deaths in 2013.

The numbers stand out, considering there are about 145,000 motorcyclists - about one for every six cars, said the Traffic Police, at a dialogue on Tuesday (Oct 20) with motorcyclists and other road-user groups.

"The bikers' vulnerability is much higher because they are not protected by the shell of a vehicle," said Commander Tee.

At the dialogue, motorcyclists raised several areas of concern, including how to reach out to Malaysian riders and inculcate safe riding habits here.

Civil servant Mohamed Salleh, 65, pointed out that each day "thousands of bikes" travel here from across the Causeway to work.

He said: "Once they leave immigration, many ride recklessly, weaving in and out of traffic." He suggested that the police give these riders reminders and warnings if they are spotted riding in an unsafe manner.

The Traffic Police said it would adopt a multi-pronged approach involving education, engagement and enforcement to tackle the problem here, said Commander Tee, adding that the authorities would continue to clamp down on reckless riding.

He said the feedback gathered at the dialogue - attended by 80 people - would be used to see how the roads could be made safer.