Traffic Police: Bikers, wear protective gear to be safe

Mr Amin trying on a riding jacket at the Singapore Bike Show yesterday, where the new safety campaign was launched. The Traffic Police say motorcyclists are over- represented in traffic fatalities.
Mr Amin trying on a riding jacket at the Singapore Bike Show yesterday, where the new safety campaign was launched. The Traffic Police say motorcyclists are over- represented in traffic fatalities.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Motorcyclists working in food delivery the focus of new 'Wear safe, ride safe' campaign

Motorcyclists were yesterday urged to wear safety gear such as riding jackets and gloves and not to weave in and out of traffic.

The Traffic Police (TP) and the Singapore Road Safety Council spread this message as they launched a new safety campaign at the Singapore Bike Show at the Singapore Expo.

The "Wear safe, ride safe" campaign encourages motorcyclists to don proper gear while on the roads, and reminds them to practise safe riding habits, such as slowing down at bends and checking that their brakes and tyres are in good condition before each ride.

Motorcyclists are an area of concern for the TP, who say they are over-represented in traffic fatalities.

In the first half of this year, 31 motorcyclists died on the roads and 36 were killed in the same period last year, according to the latest TP statistics released yesterday.

But the number of motorcyclists injured in accidents in the first half of this year crept up slightly to 2,165, from 2,123 last year.

This year's figure represents 40 per cent of those injured on the roads. TP commander Sam Tee said the campaign is targeting riders from food delivery companies.

While they might not be over-represented in the statistics, Senior Assistant Commissioner Tee said he wants delivery companies to ensure their riders wear the correct gear.

In a speech yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin said it is important these riders wear the "right protective equipment" even as they try to meet delivery schedules. He added he was pleased that many companies - including Foodpanda, Domino's Pizza and Ananda Bhavan - have come forward to purchase riding jackets.

Foodpanda CEO Jakob Angele said it is mandatory for his 2,000 delivery riders to wear long-sleeved shirts with protective padding, trousers and covered shoes. "Our riders know the risks on the roads and are quite reasonable about (wearing protective gear)," said Mr Angele.

However, some delivery riders told The Sunday Times that they do not always wear protective jackets.

"During deliveries, we don't think it's so suitable because it's very hot," said Foodpanda biker Hafiz Latiff, 27, adding that riders already have to carry bags of hot food.

McDonald's director for communications and government relations Faz Hussen told The Sunday Times that the company is on the lookout for safety gear and would consider buying riding jackets in future if technological developments made them suitable for the climate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 21, 2016, with the headline 'Traffic Police: Bikers, wear protective gear to be safe'. Print Edition | Subscribe