Three speed-tracking devices for heavy vehicles on trial

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin viewing a container truck equipped with speed-tracking devices.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs Amrin Amin viewing a container truck equipped with speed-tracking devices.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - Three devices that can monitor the speed of heavy vehicles are being trialled in 30 vehicles by the Traffic Police (TP) 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.

In addition, all three devices are equipped with an audio buzzer that will be activated when the heavy vehicle driver exceeds the vehicle's speed limit.

The trial involves each type of device being fitted in 10 heavy vehicles.

Goldbell Engineering has equipped its vehicles with the Digital Tachograph, Ley Choon Group's vehicles are using the Enhanced Speed Limiter, and Koh Kock Leong Enterprise's, the Fleet Management System.

Trials will be conducted till August, before TP decides on which device or combination of devices to implement.

Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, said at the launch of Singapore Road Safety Month on Tuesday (May 22) that in 2017, 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, said that drivers will be given feedback based on their speed records.

He 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."

Cartrack Technologies is the service provider of the Fleet Management System. Its regional chief technical director of Asia, Mr Ken Yap, 38, said: "The system allows drivers to have self-awareness on how they're driving. If (speed records) are left unchecked, it can potentially endanger drivers and passengers."

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

He said: "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."

At the same event, Mr Amrin said accidents involving motorcyclists decreased by 30 per cent last year compared to 2016, although they still accounted for more than half of all traffic accidents.

Said Mr Amrin: "Our roads are safer on the whole, but serious and fatal accidents still occur. Every fatality and injury is one too many."

To educate motorcyclists, TP produced two educational videos about the importance of observing safe driving practices and staying vigilant on the road. They can be viewed on the TP Online Learning Portal on the Singapore Police Force's website.