Choose graciousness for safer road use, campaign urges

(From left) Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan, Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay, Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin, Senior Assistant Commissioner Sam Tee and Land Transport Authority chief transportation eng
(From left) Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan, Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay, Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin, Senior Assistant Commissioner Sam Tee and Land Transport Authority chief transportation engineer Chin Kian Keong launching the campaign yesterday.ST PHOTO: RAYNOLD TOH

Tailgating, changing lanes abruptly, and not giving way are some examples of bad behaviour on Singapore's roads, which saw 141 people die in accidents last year.

To promote safe and gracious road use here, the Safer Roads Campaign was jointly launched at Our Tampines Hub yesterday by the Land Transport Authority, Traffic Police, Singapore Road Safety Council and Singapore Kindness Movement.

Themed "Choose Graciousness", the campaign - in its fourth year - will spread its message among cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists through platforms such as social media, banners and radio channels.

The campaign and its message were lauded by retired civil servant Akbar Morgan, 68, who has seen his share of ungracious behaviour in his 47 years of driving.

He said he has come across motorcyclists riding on the rightmost lane who would even make obscene gestures or shout expletives when others tried to overtake them. "I try to let them be. For their safety, I avoid overtaking or tailgating them," he said.

Speaking as guest of honour, Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said: "We share the roads with everyone else, and we can choose how we behave on the roads."

Mr Amrin also reminded the audience that being gracious was a simple act that could lead to "big and impactful outcomes".

"Giving way may cost a few seconds of your time, but it will keep you and others safe. It will make the commuting experience more pleasant for others around us," he noted.

Mr Daman Choy, a participant of the Traffic Police Road Safety Champions Scheme that trains volunteers in road safety education, agreed. "A second look gives you a second chance," said Mr Choy, who has seen cases of friends getting badly injured in accidents after failing to give way while driving.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Choose graciousness for safer road use, campaign urges'. Print Edition | Subscribe