Speed limit alert outside primary schools by 2019

A speed limit sign outside Ang Mo Kio Primary School. A pilot programme involving 10 schools launched in January last year, as part of the enhanced school zone scheme, was found to be effective. More than 170 of the 187 primary schools islandwide wil
A speed limit sign outside Ang Mo Kio Primary School. A pilot programme involving 10 schools launched in January last year, as part of the enhanced school zone scheme, was found to be effective. More than 170 of the 187 primary schools islandwide will have this feature to keep children safe by 2019.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Flashing lights will signal 40kmh limit during peak hours

By 2019, almost all roads outside primary schools here will have flashing lights indicating a reduced speed limit of 40kmh during school arrival and dismissal hours.

More than 170 of the 187 primary schools islandwide will have this feature, following a pilot programme involving 10 launched in January last year as part of the enhanced school zone scheme.

A spokesman for the LTA said the initiative is being expanded as it had proven its effectiveness and garnered positive public feedback.

"Surveys conducted at the 10 pilot locations by the LTA show that motorists would slow down their vehicles when approaching these stretches of roads," she said.

The signs are one of several features designed to increase road safety near schools. Other features include red textured road surfaces, chevron markings and road humps.

The safety of children in school zones came under the spotlight in 2013 after two young brothers died when they were hit by a cement mixer truck in Tampines.

A tender to implement the flashing signs has been called and is expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of this year, with works expected to commence in the second quarter of next year.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) transport consultant Gopinath Menon also said the zones had proven their effectiveness.

"Even visitors I bring from overseas are impressed," said the senior research fellow at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NTU.

"A lot of work has been done by the various agencies to make school zones safe."

However, Mr Menon noted that the zones could only do so much to keep children safe.

"A lot still depends on the behaviour of motorists," he said.

Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, who chairs the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, applauded the move.

"This is certainly a good initiative. Safety is paramount and no stones should be left unturned in ensuring the safety of our students," he said.

Mr Eric Leck, 43, who has a daughter in Primary 2, said the move was an important one.

He said: "Some children have to cross the road without being accompanied by their parents or guardians."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2016, with the headline 'Speed limit alert outside primary schools by 2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe