School zone, yet 5 drivers run red light every week

In first six months, as many as 23 also caught speeding in these areas

As many as 110 errant drivers were caught running the red light in school zones in the first six months of this year alone. That translates to an average of nearly five cases a week.

Drivers were also caught for other offences in school zones, such as speeding and tailgating.

The Traffic Police gave these updates in response to queries from The Straits Times.

Since January, road safety in school zones has been beefed up with harsher punishments, after two brothers were killed by a truck in Tampines last year.

Nigel Yap, 13, was cycling across the road with Donavan, seven, who was riding pillion, when the driver hit them.

The police did not have a breakdown of the number of offences committed within school zones before the law was toughened earlier this year.

Those who run a red light in a school zone will get 13 demerit points - one more than before.

For drivers with less than a year's experience, it means their licences will be revoked as they have exceeded the maximum of 12 demerit points in one year.

Speeding was the second most common offence in these demarcated areas. Within the first six months of this year, 23 summonses were issued against speedsters who exceeded the 50kmh limit.

The Land Transport Authority lowered speed limits outside 10 primary schools to 40kmh in January as part of a pilot project which will be rolled out to more schools progressively.

In the first six months of this year, there were also eight cases of inconsiderate driving and 17 instances of careless driving. Examples include tailgating and sudden lane switches.

There are more than 300 school zones at primary and secondary schools.

MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng said drivers should keep a lookout at all times in school zones, not just at dismissal hours.

"There are schoolchildren who are coming and going all the time. Some of them stay back for CCA (co-curricular activities), some are waiting for their parents. It's alarming and worrisome the number is so high."

Nurse May Tan, 52, mother of three, said: "I always remind my kids not to take for granted that green light means 'go', and to watch out for speeding cars. I tell them, 'This involves your life'."

awcw@sph.com.sg

Additional reporting by Lee Jian Xuan