Red alert: Older pedestrians at greater risk

Rise in number of those 60 and over involved in accidents, and fatal cases, in first half of 2019

Traffic Police are organising a road safety carnival for the elderly to be held on Oct 12. "We need to raise awareness among the elderly of using pedestrian crossings and refraining from jaywalking," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affai
Traffic Police are organising a road safety carnival for the elderly to be held on Oct 12. "We need to raise awareness among the elderly of using pedestrian crossings and refraining from jaywalking," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

More pedestrians aged 60 and above were involved in road accidents and fatal cases in the first six months of this year compared with the same period a year ago, according to the latest figures from the police released yesterday.

This is despite overall traffic accident numbers falling.

The total number of accidents involving older pedestrians increased by 59.1 per cent to 183 in the first six months of the year, from 115 in the same period last year.

Total fatalities increased to 17 from 11 in the same period last year.

Police said almost 32 per cent of accidents involving older pedestrians were due to jaywalking, which remained the most common cause of such accidents despite the proportion falling from 40 per cent of the total in the same period last year.

The total number of road accidents which resulted in injury or death in the first half of this year fell slightly to 3,817 from 3,915 in the same period a year ago.

The number of speeding-related and drink-driving accidents fell, although the number of red-light running accidents increased.

  • 59.1%

    Increase in accidents involving older pedestrians in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year.

    32%

    Proportion of these accidents that involved jaywalking.

    17

    Total number of fatalities involving older pedestrians in first half of this year, compared with 11 last year.

Accidents involving motorcyclists also continued to be a cause for concern, as they accounted for more than half of both the total number of road accidents and deaths, at 58 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling said a two-pronged approach is needed to address the rising numbers of pedestrians 60 and above who are involved in accidents.

"We need to raise awareness among the elderly of using pedestrian crossings and refraining from jaywalking," she said at the launch of the Singapore Ride Safe 2019 campaign at the ComfortDelGro Driving Centre at Ubi yesterday.

"At the same time, motorists must pay greater attention to elderly pedestrians in (the) light of Singapore's ageing population."

 
 
 

Ms Sun added that it is critical for the Traffic Police to continue to strengthen public education and outreach efforts to the motorcycling community, pointing to past initiatives, such as a Roadsense Carnival held at Ngee Ann City in July in conjunction with the Singapore Road Safety Council's Road Safety Month.

The Traffic Police are also organising a road safety carnival for the elderly to be held on Oct 12 at The Theatre at Mediacorp. This year marks the 13th edition of the Singapore Ride Safe campaign, which aims to promote good road sense and riding behaviour among the motorcycling community.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 29, 2019, with the headline 'Red alert: Older pedestrians at greater risk'. Print Edition | Subscribe