Police test devices that track speed of heavy vehicles

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin in a container truck equipped with a vehicle monitoring system. With him is Mr Alvin Pan of the Singapore Police Force.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin in a container truck equipped with a vehicle monitoring system. With him is Mr Alvin Pan of the Singapore Police Force.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Three devices that can monitor the speed of heavy vehicles are being trialled by the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority.

The devices - the Digital Tachograph, Enhanced Speed Limiter and Fleet Management System - were recommended by the Safety Roads Industry Taskforce.

The Digital Tachograph tracks the speed of a vehicle and can print out its records for the past 24 hours on the spot. The Fleet Management System uses GPS to calculate and record the travelling speed of the vehicle, while the Enhanced Speed Limiter has the same function but can cap the maximum travelling speed of the vehicle.

All three devices are equipped with an audio buzzer that will be activated when the heavy vehicle driver exceeds the speed limit.

Trials will go on until August, before the police decide which device or combination of devices to use.

Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, said at the launch of Singapore Road Safety Month yesterday that last year, three in 10 fatal accidents involved a heavy vehicle.

He said: "Commercial heavy vehicle drivers spend much time on the road, and are more likely to be involved in accidents. Although the number of accidents involving heavy vehicles decreased by 13 per cent from 2016 to 2017, such accidents are more likely to result in fatalities."

Mr Mak Hon Ngai, 39, manager of sales and operations for Goldbell Engineering, a distributor of commercial vehicles and one of three companies involved in the trial, said: "Being a fleet owner, safety is very important. We need to ensure our drivers know how to drive safely on the road. With the feedback, they will have to change their (driving) habits."

Mr Amrin also said accidents involving motorcyclists fell by 30 per cent last year against 2016, although they still accounted for over half of all traffic accidents.

Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said the mindset of drivers is the most important for road safety, even with the introduction of speed tracking devices.

"You need to have the mindset that you must always think of safety, of yourself and road users. To do that, you have to practise what you have learnt, make sure you are familiar with all the highway codes. You have to take breaks as required because you need to be focused and attentive."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Police test devices that track speed of heavy vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe