New traffic signals to beep 24/7 in Tampines and Bedok, boosting mobility for those with disabilities

The audible signals operate with two tones - a subtle locating one and a more prominent sounding crossing one. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM ERIC CHUA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE – New audible traffic signals – indicating their presence at traffic lights and alerting when to cross the road – will be activated round the clock in Tampines and Bedok from June to help those with disabilities travel for work and leisure more independently.

The locating tone will be emitted 24/7 but, before 7am and after 9pm each day, the crossing tone will be triggered only when a Persons with Disabilities Concession Card is tapped on a reader at the site.

Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Culture, Community and Youth, said on Saturday that the initiative is part of efforts to create inclusive physical environments.

“For those of you who live in Bedok and Tampines, you can be the first to benefit from these traffic signals so keep an ear out for them,” he added.

“Preparation works have commenced in the first two towns, and they will be implemented from June this year,” he noted.

The Land Transport Authority will roll out the initiative in other towns in phases.

In August 2022, during the launch of the Enabling Masterplan 2030 (EMP 2030), it was announced that the audible signals will be installed at 325 pedestrian crossings in 10 town centres.

The other towns are Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West, Sengkang, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun.

The audible signals operate with two tones. The first is a subtle locating one for those with disabilities to find them, and the second is a louder crossing one.

More than 1,000 audible traffic signals are already installed islandwide, but these are typically operational only from 7am to 9pm.

Mr Chua was speaking at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre at a Forward Singapore engagement session on enabling persons with disabilities.

This is the first such session since the launch of the EMP 2030 and saw more than 100 members of the public in attendance.

Forward Singapore is a year-long public consultation launched in June 2022 by Singapore’s fourth-generation team of political leaders to chart a road map for the country for the next decade.

Participants of the engagement session on Saturday shared how persons with disabilities aspire to live dignified lives and hope for more initiatives such as those relating to employment.

Mr Chua also spoke about the first Enabling Services Hub which will open in Tampines West Community Centre by the middle of this year.

The hub will offer social inclusion activities and continual education and learning courses for persons with disabilities, as well as drop-in respite care to support caregivers.

He added that the first Enabling Business Hub will be launched in Jurong West later in 2023 to help provide job support for persons with disabilities.

The employment rate among those with disabilities is currently about 31 per cent. Mr Chua said the goal is to reach 40 per cent by 2030.

“However, to really realise the goals and achieve our vision, we need everyone’s support and, more importantly, we need action,” he noted.

“Our approach must be one of working with persons with disabilities, caregivers, disability sector professionals and community partners to understand the specific needs of different groups and work on solutions together. Because together, we can, we must and we will achieve.”

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