Parliament: More right-turn arrow junctions and Silver Zones to improve road safety

With red-amber-green right-turn arrows, vehicles can turn only on the green arrow, which makes turnings safer and more controlled but has the potential to slow traffic down. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Some 1,200 traffic junctions will be fitted with red-amber-green (RAG) right-turn arrows by 2023, to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians.

There are currently more than 300 junctions with this traffic scheme, which prevents motorists from making discretionary right turns at junctions.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng gave this update on Thursday (March 5), in response to Workers' Party MP Png Eng Huat (Hougang).

Mr Png had asked if the Government could "take the guesswork out" for pedestrians who are crossing such a junction.

"I strongly urge the ministry to do something about those discretionary right-turn junctions wherever possible because the safety of pedestrians must be at the forefront of everything in a car-lite, pedestrian-centric city," he said.

As per the name, cars can make right turns at such junctions as long as there is a suitable gap in oncoming traffic.

However, two fatal accidents in 2018 involving vehicles making discretionary right turns spurred calls for right-turn arrows to be installed at more traffic junctions.

With RAG arrows, vehicles can turn only on the green arrow. That makes turnings safer and more controlled, but has the potential to slow traffic down.

Separately, Mr Baey also said 15 more Silver Zones will be built in estates such as Tampines, Ang Mo Kio and Hougang by 2023, to cater to senior pedestrians.

That will bring the number of Silver Zones islandwide to 50. There are 17 zones now, with another 18 slated to be completed by 2021.

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The Silver Zone Scheme involves building traffic-calming measures and senior-friendly road safety features in areas that have a high proportion of senior residents, and where there have been past accidents involving seniors.

The zones are also located near amenities like food courts and medical centres so seniors can access these more easily and safely.

Mr Baey said Silver Zones have reduced the number of road accidents involving senior pedestrians by 80 per cent.

Speed limits will also be lowered at certain Silver Zones in future to improve safety, he added.

The speed limit at such zones is 40kmh. The Land Transport Authority said last November that it would begin a one-year trial next month to reduce the speed limit of silver zones at Bukit Merah View and Jurong West Street 52 to 30kmh.

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