Traffic Police and LTA mount operation against speeding and illegal modification offences

A joint operation by the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority in Yishun on March 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - As motorists zipped along Yishun Ave 1 at up to 83kmh, 33kmh above the speed limit, a police speed laser camera captured their licence plates.

They were among those who were issued summonses in a week-long operation by the Traffic Police (TP) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) to catch speedsters and owners of illegally modified vehicles.

Of the 71 summonses issued, the police did not say how many were for speeding offences.

The Straits Times accompanied the authorities early Saturday morning to observe how errant motorists were caught.

During the operation which began on March 22, the LTA detected 54 offences relating to illegal vehicle modifications, which included modified exhaust systems and non-compliant tinted windows.

On Saturday, ST observed LTA officers stopping more than 30 vehicles along Yishun Dam for inspections between 1.30am and 2.30am.

They looked out for the loud revving of engines from modified exhaust systems and illegal add-ons such as lights.

They lifted the hoods of cars to check their engines and crouched on the ground to inspect exhaust systems. They also verified the driver's licence of motorists and notified them of the possible offence they had committed.

Quieter roads during the Covid-19 pandemic led to a fall in the overall number of traffic accidents last year, said TP in its annual road traffic situation report.

But it might have also enticed more motorists to speed, judging by the increase in the number of speeding-related accidents from 735 in 2019 to 758 cases last year.

A TP spokesman said they conduct enforcement operations regularly at hot spots islandwide to deter errant motorists and detect traffic offences.

A Traffic Police officer using a speed laser camera along Yishun Dam during the joint operation on March 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Meanwhile, stricter penalties and regular inspections have brought the number of illegal vehicle modification offences down over the past five years.

The number of such offences fell from an average of 1,800 per month in 2015 to 550 per month last year.

A police spokesman said: "The Traffic Police takes a serious view of motorists who choose to flout traffic rules and cause danger to other road users."

Fatal speeding accidents

1. Newspaper vendor hit by lorry

A lorry driver was speeding home after a drinking session on Feb 21, 2019, when he hit an elderly newspaper vendor riding a motorcycle, killing him. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

When: Feb 21, 2019

What happened: A lorry driver was speeding home after a drinking session when he hit a 70-year-old newspaper vendor riding a motorcycle, killing him.

He was driving at speeds of up to 100kmh when the limit was 60kmh.

The victim was flung off his bike but Muhammad Amin Mohamed Noor went straight home and lied to his employer the lorry had hit a lamp post.

Sentence: Amin was jailed for two years on Aug 7 last year, and banned from driving for 10 years.

2. Van driver kills friends

Van driver Joseph Low Moh Boon crashed his delivery van into a tree in Bukit Timah Road on Oct 20, 2018, killing two male passengers who were his friends. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

When: Oct 20, 2018

What happened: Joseph Low Moh Boon, then 24, crashed his delivery van into a tree in Bukit Timah Road at around 3am, killing two male passengers, aged 25 and 43, who were his friends.

They had gone to a pub in Jalan Besar earlier to celebrate Low's birthday.

He had been driving at speeds of up to 122kmh - double the road's speed limit.

Traces of various drugs and alcohol were found in his urine and blood samples.

Sentence: On June 4 last year, Low was jailed for 18 months and banned from driving for 10 years.

3. NUS student killed

NUS student Kathy Ong died after a taxi she was riding in collided with a car at the junction of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road on April 19, 2018. PHOTOS: ST FILE, KATHY ONG/FACEBOOK

When: April 19, 2018

What happened: A man, then 21, was speeding when his car ploughed into a taxi, resulting in the death of one of the taxi's passengers, a female student from the National University of Singapore, who was 19.

The car driver had been driving at speeds of between 83kmh and 92kmh, when the speed limit was 70kmh.

The taxi driver, who was ferrying four passengers, made a discretionary right turn at a signalised Clementi Road junction, despite knowing the car was hurtling towards him from the opposite direction.

The three male passengers survived the crash.

Sentence: The car driver was fined $5,000 last year and banned from driving for two years.

The former cabby was sentenced to eight weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years on Aug 2, 2019.

Their case is before the High Court after one of the passengers sued them for negligence.

4. Three dead in Ferrari crash

A Chinese national was killed after he ran a red light at a speed of 178kmh in his Ferrari on May 12, 2012. The crash also killed a Singaporean taxi driver and his Japanese passenger. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

When: May 12, 2012

What happened: A Chinese national, 31, was killed after he ran a red light at a speed of 178kmh in his $1.8 million Ferrari 599 GTO, colliding into a taxi at about 4.15am.

The crash also killed a Singaporean cabby, 52, and his Japanese female passenger, 41, who was studying here to be an interior designer.

Sentence: Her elderly parents reached a confidential settlement with the insurer of the Ferrari driver.

Her parents had sought to claim over $700,000 from the driver's estate and wanted it to help make good on the gift of an $850,000 flat their daughter had promised them before she died.

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