Drive to weed out errant motorists

71 summonses issued in week-long operation to catch speedsters, illegally modified vehicles

LTA officers checking a vehicle for illegal modifications along Yishun Dam yesterday. From left: A Traffic Police officer using a police speed laser camera, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer using a tint inspection device on a vehicle and LTA
LTA officers checking a vehicle for illegal modifications along Yishun Dam yesterday.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
LTA officers checking a vehicle for illegal modifications along Yishun Dam yesterday. From left: A Traffic Police officer using a police speed laser camera, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer using a tint inspection device on a vehicle and LTA
A Traffic Police officer using a police speed laser camera during a joint operation by the two agencies along Yishun Dam yesterday. The Sunday Times observed LTA officers stopping more than 30 vehicles along the dam for inspections between 1.30am and 2.30am.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
LTA officers checking a vehicle for illegal modifications along Yishun Dam yesterday. From left: A Traffic Police officer using a police speed laser camera, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer using a tint inspection device on a vehicle and LTA
A Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer using a tint inspection device on a vehicle during a joint operation by the two agencies along Yishun Dam yesterday. The Sunday Times observed LTA officers stopping more than 30 vehicles along the dam for inspections between 1.30am and 2.30am.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
LTA officers checking a vehicle for illegal modifications along Yishun Dam yesterday. From left: A Traffic Police officer using a police speed laser camera, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) officer using a tint inspection device on a vehicle and LTA
LTA officers checking vehicles for illegal modifications during a joint operation by the two agencies along Yishun Dam yesterday. The Sunday Times observed LTA officers stopping more than 30 vehicles along the dam for inspections between 1.30am and 2.30am.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

As motorists zipped along Yishun Avenue 1 at up to 83kmh, 33kmh above the speed limit, a police speed laser camera captured their licence plates.

These motorists were among those who were issued summonses in a week-long operation by the Traffic Police (TP) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) to catch speedsters and illegally modified vehicles.

Of the 71 summonses issued, the police did not say how many were for speeding offences.

During the operation, which began last Monday, the LTA detected 54 offences relating to illegal vehicle modifications, which included modified exhaust systems and non-compliant tinted windows.

The Sunday Times accompanied the authorities early yesterday morning to observe how errant motorists were caught.

Between 1.30am and 2.30am, LTA officers stopped more than 30 vehicles along Yishun Dam for inspections.

The officers were on the lookout for the loud revving of engines from modified exhaust systems and illegal add-ons such as lights.

They lifted the hoods of cars to check their engines and crouched on the ground to inspect exhaust systems. They also verified the driving licences of motorists and notified them of the possible offence they had committed.

Quieter roads during the Covid-19 pandemic led to a fall in the overall number of traffic accidents last year, said the TP in its annual road traffic situation report. But the number of speeding-related accidents increased from 735 in 2019 to 758 cases last year.

A TP spokesman said enforcement operations are conducted regularly at hot spots islandwide to deter errant motorists and detect traffic offences.

Meanwhile, stricter penalties and regular inspections have brought the number of illegal vehicle modification offences down over the past five years.

The number of such offences fell from an average of 1,800 a month in 2015 to 550 a month last year.

A police spokesman said: "The Traffic Police takes a serious view of motorists who choose to flout traffic rules and cause danger to other road users."

Fatal speeding accidents

News vendor hit by lorry

When: Feb 21, 2019

What happened: Lorry driver Muhammad Amin Mohamed Noor was speeding home after a drinking session when he hit a 70-year-old newspaper vendor riding a motorcycle, killing him. He was driving at speeds of up to 100kmh when the speed limit was 60kmh.

Sentence: Amin was jailed for two years on Aug 7 last year and banned from driving for 10 years.

Van driver kills friends



In October 2018, Joseph Low Moh Boon, then 24, crashed his delivery van into a tree in Bukit Timah Road, killing his two passengers. SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO


When: Oct 20, 2018

What happened: Joseph Low Moh Boon, then 24, crashed his delivery van into a tree in Bukit Timah Road, killing two male passengers, aged 25 and 43, who were his friends.

They had gone to a pub earlier to celebrate Low's birthday.

He had been driving at speeds of up to 122kmh - double the limit. Traces of drugs and alcohol were found in his urine and blood samples.

Sentence: On June 4 last year, Low was jailed for 18 months and banned from driving for 10 years.

NUS student killed

When: April 19, 2018

What happened: A man, then 21, was speeding when his car ploughed into a taxi, resulting in the death of one of its passengers - a female National University of Singapore student, 19.

The car driver was going at speeds of between 83kmh and 92kmh, when the limit was 70kmh.

The cabby made a discretionary turn at a junction despite knowing the car was hurtling towards him from the opposite direction. Three male passengers survived the crash.

Sentence: The car driver was fined $5,000 in November last year and banned from driving for two years.

The former cabby was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years in 2019. The case is before the High Court after one of the passengers sued the two drivers for negligence.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

Speeding-related accidents:

2017: 762

2018: 719

2019: 735

2020: 758

Fatalities from speeding-related accidents:

2017: 27

2018: 26

2019: 38

2020: 29

Speeding violations:

2017: 164,319

2018: 157,312

2019: 184,977

2020: 162,324

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 28, 2021, with the headline 'Drive to weed out errant motorists'. Subscribe