Residents appeal for safer road after fatal accident at Marine Parade roundabout

An 82-year-old female pedestrian died after an accident with a car at a roundabout in Marine Parade on March 18, 2019. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SANDRA ZECASPER
The roundabout in Marine Parade seen from Silversea condominium, on March 19, 2019. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - An 82-year-old pedestrian on a sidewalk died in an accident with a car on Monday (March 18) at a roundabout in Marine Parade, prompting residents to call for changes to the road design.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in response to media queries, said on Tuesday night that it would continue to review public feedback and study the traffic situation in the area "to determine if further enhancements need to be made".

This is despite the area not falling under LTA's black spot programme, which was started in 2005 to identify locations with a high incidence of traffic accidents and implement measures to reduce the frequency and severity of such accidents.

The authority added on Tuesday that it had made changes to the roundabout in the past, following feedback.

On Monday, the police said they were alerted to the accident at the junction of Marine Parade Road and Amber Road at 12.30pm.

The 82-year-old woman was unconscious when taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

The driver, a 29-year-old man, is currently assisting police with investigations.

The accident occurred at a roundabout where Silversea Condominium is located.

Silversea resident Sandra Zecasper, 38, had just exited the condominium and was heading to the bus stop when she witnessed the accident.

She told The Straits Times: "The car went onto the kerb of the roundabout, and hit the elderly woman and a tree."

"She flew really high up and then landed on her head," she added.

The woman was bleeding heavily from her nose and her mouth, and did not talk at all, said Ms Zecasper, who works remotely for an overseas company and lives in Singapore as her husband is a diplomat.

She added: "The driver took out his car plates once the accident happened, and did not seem injured."

Ms Zecasper said that the roundabout was very dangerous, with many people - most of whom had young children - walking along it on a daily basis.

"The sidewalk is really narrow, we need some kind of protection as the cars go by really close," she said.

Many of the pedestrians also use strollers, and the sidewalk is too narrow to accommodate two strollers at the same time, making it difficult to manoeuvre when two strollers are headed towards each other, she added.

She added that she uses a stroller every day as she has two daughters, aged one and five.

Another Silversea resident who did not want to be named also saw the accident. She told ST that she had been walking into the condominium when she heard a car "screaming around the roundabout".

She said: "Then I saw someone being flung, and I asked someone to watch my daughter while I ran over to the woman."

She had also seen a car hit the back of the bus as the bus was exiting the roundabout on March 1.

"I find this road very dangerous, and when I walk on the sidewalk with my daughter, I would feel a bit safer with her in the pram, otherwise she will walk on the inside, further away from the cars," she added.

Ms Daniela Romao, 36, an owner of a relocation company, shared similar sentiments.

"I've stopped listening to music on my phone when I walk along this road because I think it is too scary," said Ms Romao.

There are many families with young children living in the condominium, and many of them walk along the road when sending their children to school, or when heading to the nearby Parkway Parade shopping mall, she added.

She said that a neighbour had also told her of an incident where a young boy had been on a children's scooter on the sidewalk when he fell, and a car stopped inches away from his head.

"The driver was so traumatised that an accident had almost occurred," she added.

Residents in the condominium have been worried about the safety of the roundabout for months, said Ms Romao.

She added that after the latest accident, many residents decided to write to the LTA, asking for something to be done to improve the safety of the area, such as putting up some railings or speed bumps.

In 2017, ST reported on an accident that occurred at the same roundabout, where two elderly women were injured after a collision between a car and a taxi.

In its reply to the media on Tuesday, LTA said that after feedback from residents in 2017, it widened the footpath at the roundabout and the road leading to Silversea from 1.5m to 1.8m.

Other measures taken include painting the kerbs surrounding the perimeter of the roundabout black and white to make them more visible to motorists.

This is to help motorists distinguish the roundabout from the footpath.

Signs also remind motorists to give way and watch out for oncoming traffic before and when they enter the roundabout.

Speeds of vehicles are also reduced before they enter the roundabout, with the implementation of lane merging on Marine Parade Road towards Amber Road.

"We urge all road users to play their part and exercise caution and consideration when using our roads," LTA added.

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