Tales from road safety advocates shared in new book by ST journalist

Straits Times senior correspondent Zaihan Mohamed Yusof with the book that he penned, The First 10 Years: Safety At Every Turn, during its launch at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore yesterday.
Straits Times senior correspondent Zaihan Mohamed Yusof with the book that he penned, The First 10 Years: Safety At Every Turn, during its launch at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore yesterday.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Singapore Road Safety Council marks 10th anniversary with coffee-table book

Civil servant Aaron Pok, 39, makes it a point to approach motorists with tips on road safety, especially when he sees bad motoring habits.

Puzzled road users have questioned if he is an off-duty Traffic Police patrol officer, but Mr Pok would tell them he is a Road Safety Champion - a volunteer who advocates the cause of road safety.

"Everyone has a role to play. We treat each other with mutual respect and keep a lookout for each other's safety," said Mr Pok, who has had friends killed or seriously injured in road accidents.

His story, along with that of many other road safety advocates, was recounted in the Singapore Road Safety Council's (SRSC) new coffee-table book commemorating its 10th anniversary.

It was written by Straits Times senior correspondent Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, 48.

Titled The First 10 Years: Safety At Every Turn, the book was launched last night during the SRSC's annual fund-raising gala dinner and concert at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.

The charity advocates road safety through collaborations with government agencies, and actively runs road safety campaigns like the Singapore Road Safety Month and Anti-Drink Drive Campaign.

FUTURE CHALLENGES

I foresee that there will be a lot of issues on the road, both good and bad, and we will have to prepare for the changes. We hope to come up with more innovative strategies to solve some of the problems we are facing now.

SINGAPORE ROAD SAFETY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN BERNARD TAY, on the introduction of new technology such as autonomous vehicles on Singapore's roads.

The book reflects the many voices that are involved in road safety - from the ordinary man in the street to motorists to the authorities, said Mr Zaihan.

This represents the SRSC's stance that "we can't solve road safety issues without a collective voice", he added.

SRSC chairman Bernard Tay said the book is a fitting tribute to the council's journey.

Since the charity was launched in 2009, the traffic fatality rate per 100,000 in the population has decreased significantly to 2.2 last year, from 3.67 in 2009, said Mr Tay.

"While the numbers have decreased, one accident is one too many, and the loss of a loved one due to a traffic accident causes inexpressible pain and sorrow to families," said Mr Tay, calling on the community to continue its work.

 
 
 

And while the charity has seen successes in the past 10 years, the next 10 will be challenging with the many changes in the transport scene, he said.

There has been much innovation on the roads, with new technology such as personal mobility devices and autonomous vehicles gaining prominence, he added.

"I foresee that there will be a lot of issues on the road, both good and bad, and we will have to prepare for the changes," said Mr Tay.

"We hope to come up with more innovative strategies to solve some of the problems we are facing now," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'Tales from road safety advocates shared in new book'. Print Edition | Subscribe