Drivers and firms lauded for safe driving practices and efforts to boost road safety

Mr Balakrishnan S. Govindarajoo received a Singapore Road Safety Award after he was nominated by employer PSA Singapore. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SINGAPORE ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL/YOUTUBE
The Singapore Road Safety Awards are given out annually to companies and drivers. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Mr Balakrishnan S. Govindarajoo, 63, has always been driven by the need to maintain road safety in his 47 years of work.

On Wednesday (Dec 15), the container handling specialist with PSA Singapore was among nine drivers/riders who received awards for such commitment.

"I am honoured to be recognised... after 47 years of working in the port," said Mr Balakrishnan, who received a Singapore Road Safety Award (SRSA) after he was nominated by his employer.

Despite his many years on the job, he does not take familiarity for granted.

"I still hold on to the principles of being a disciplined and safe driver. I am also patient and gracious on the road. These are important characteristics to have, and they make the roads safer," he added.

His current work sees him transporting containers within Pasir Panjang Terminal and between different terminals.

On Wednesday, 11 companies that operate vehicle fleets were also lauded for good road safety practices.

The awards for individuals and firms have been given out annually since 2016 by the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC), with support from the Traffic Police (TP), Land Transport Authority and WSH Institute.

PSA, a port management and logistics company, clinched its fourth consecutive "excellence" SRSA award in the heavy goods fleet category.

"Workplace safety is of utmost importance to us, and this award is a testament to our deep-lying commitment to safety in everything we do, and the rigorous practices in achieving road safety for all port users.

"We will continue to commit to robust training and new technologies to augment driver safety," said a spokesman.

Qualifying criteria for the company awards include the absence of fatal road traffic accidents during the assessment period - between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31 last year - and a system set up by the firm to drive driver safety.

The award winners have been featured in a video on the SRSC's Facebook page.

In the video, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said: "The industry has its role to play. For example, companies involved in transportation can invest in well-maintained fleets of vehicles and driver support systems to enhance transportation safety.

"These investments are not only sensible from a business perspective - as they lead to better productivity and reduce costs arising from traffic accidents - they more crucially fulfil the moral duty to help keep roads safe."

Commander of Traffic Police, Senior Assistant Commissioner Gerald Lim, noted that fast-food chain McDonald's Singapore, which bagged a merit award in the motorcycle fleet category, has been actively collaborating with the TP and other stakeholders to educate and constantly remind its riders to observe good safety habits.

Mr Bernard Tay, chairman of the SRSC, emphasised the importance of continued engagements with companies in the industry.

"With the boom of online commercial activities, logistics and last-mile delivery companies are on the rise. We have seen more delivery vehicles on the road over the years," he said.

"We hope that these companies will also take up the mission of improving their road safety standards and join us for future awards."

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