Install canopies to protect against killer litter

A man was at a barbecue pit at Spottiswoode 18 (above) when he collapsed after being hit by a wine bottle thrown from above. He died of his injuries.
A man was at a barbecue pit at Spottiswoode 18 (above) when he collapsed after being hit by a wine bottle thrown from above. He died of his injuries.PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG

High-rise littering is prevalent in Singapore, and we need concrete measures to protect the lives of innocent pedestrians (Stronger measures needed to stop high-rise littering, by Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng, Aug 23).

A man died earlier this month after being hit by a wine bottle that fell from a height. And in 2014, a 67-year-old woman died after being hit by a bicycle wheel thrown from the 14th floor of an HDB block.

We should take inspiration from the many old buildings in our city that have sheltered five-foot-ways. These covered walkways provide both a safe highway for pedestrians as well as a social space for interaction.

Some may ask why communities need to "cut the feet to fit the shoes" when casualty numbers are insignificant compared with the thousands of high-rise buildings here.

But it is better to be safe than sorry, and put up a robust canopy that protects pedestrian lives.

The National Environment Agency, town councils and condominium management corporations should consider making canopy installation mandatory for high-rise buildings.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'Install canopies to protect against killer litter'. Print Edition | Subscribe