SINGAPORE - More people were killed or injured in traffic accidents in the first half of this year.
This is likely due to the rise in the number of vehicles on the road as Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed, compared with the first half of last year when there was a circuit breaker, the police said on Wednesday (Sept 8).
There were 3,635 fatalities and injuries reported from January to June, up 17 per cent from 3,108 in the same period last year, the latest figures released by the police show.
The number of accidents resulting in injuries or death rose by 16.2 per cent to 2,998, from 2,579 in the same period last year.
A total of 58 people died in 52 accidents in the first half of this year, seven more than the 51 fatalities in 49 accidents in the first half of 2020.
The police said fatal accidents involving elderly pedestrians and motorcyclists remain a key concern. "While the number of fatal accidents involving elderly pedestrians and motorcyclists has decreased... they continue to account for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents resulting in injuries or death," they added.
Elderly pedestrian deaths fell from eight to five, while that of motorcyclists and pillion riders dipped from 31 to 26 in the first half of this year.
Collectively, they make up 53.4 per cent of traffic fatalities in the first half of 2021.
The police added that 47.1 per cent of accidents involving elderly pedestrians were due to jaywalking.
"For their safety, elderly pedestrians are advised to use pedestrian crossings or overhead bridges to cross the roads," they said.
Also on the rise is the number of drink-driving accidents. The police said there were 77 such cases in the first half of this year, a 20.3 per cent increase from 64 cases in the same period last year.
The number of those nabbed for drink driving rose by 7.7 per cent to 724 from 672.
While there were fewer speeding violations - 66,270 compared with 94,348 in the first half of last year - the number of speeding-related accidents rose by 25.3 per cent to 426, from 340 in the first half of last year.
Motorists ran fewer red lights on the roads in the first half of this year - violations fell by 0.8 per cent to 23,952, from last year’s 24,147. Accidents caused by running of red lights also dipped from 51 to 47.
In general, the police said the number of traffic accidents and violations were lower than in the pre-Covid-19 period, due to lighter traffic on the roads as more people stayed home.
Compared with the first half of 2019, for example, the number of traffic accidents resulting in fatalities or injuries fell by 21.8 per cent.
“Going forward, as traffic volume increases with the resumption of more activities, we can expect traffic accidents and violation figures to increase,” they added.