Why It Matters

Playing a part in road safety

Thanks to public education campaigns and an increase in speed cameras, the number of accident fatalities this year is set to drop to its lowest in more than 30 years.

According to police estimates, there were 97 deaths here caused by road accidents from January to October, down from 117 for the same period last year, The Straits Times reported on Monday.

While the overall number of accident deaths has fallen, groups such as the elderly are still vulnerable.

In the first half of this year, 135 accidents involving elderly pedestrians were reported, up from 124 in the same period last year.

The elderly might be slower in reacting to sudden situations and less accurate in gauging the speed of vehicles, Mr Ang Hin Kee, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, told The Straits Times.

The illegal presence of personal mobility devices (PMDs) on the road is yet another safety concern.

About 40 PMD users were caught each month this year for riding on the road, up from the monthly average of 34 last year.

 

Last month, an e-scooter rider died in an accident with a double-decker bus in Kaki Bukit.

It is good that traffic deaths have decreased, but every accident death is still one too many.

While measures have been put in place to make the roads safer, such as introducing Silver Zones to get vehicles to slow down in areas with large numbers of elderly residents, individuals also need to play their part.

For pedestrians, especially elderly ones, it means taking the longer route to find a pedestrian crossing or overhead bridge, instead of jaywalking.

For drivers, it means giving way to one another, being patient, observing traffic rules and being more alert when they see an elderly person crossing the road.

On the road, every bit of patience and graciousness can go a long way in keeping lives safe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'Playing a part in road safety'. Print Edition | Subscribe