Key areas of concern: Motorcyclists, reckless drivers, the elderly

Motorcyclists and their pillion passengers comprised almost half of all road deaths last year.
Motorcyclists and their pillion passengers comprised almost half of all road deaths last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

Motorcyclists, the elderly and reckless drivers remain three key areas of concern, the Traffic Police said yesterday.

Their latest statistics show that last year, 4,875 motorcyclists and their pillion riders were injured, a 5 per cent rise on 2014.

Motorcyclists and their pillion passengers also comprised almost half of all road deaths last year - 72 out of a total of 152.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Sam Tee, commander of the Traffic Police, said that in 40 per cent of accidents involving motorcyclists, the rider was at fault.

The top three causes of motorcycle accidents were a failure to keep a lookout, failing to keep proper control, or not giving way to traffic with the right of way.

The Traffic Police are trying to stem this rising number by educating the motorcycling community, particularly Malaysian motorcyclists who ride into Singapore.

According to latest Land Transport Authority statistics, an average of 54,000 foreign vehicles entered Singapore each day in 2014, mostly motorbikes.

The Traffic Police are erecting billboards at Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints with road safety messages in all four official languages aimed at motorcyclists entering the country.

Motorcycling blogger Ian Tan, 39, believes many riders here are still not wearing basic safety gear while riding - such as long trousers, covered shoes and full-face helmets.

"There are still too many riders who don't ride well," he said. "They think they are riding expertly when they weave in and out recklessly. Actually they are putting themselves and others in danger."

Meanwhile, the Traffic Police reported a rise in accidents involving elderly pedestrians aged 60 and older. There were 211 cases last year, up from 194 in 2014. Over a quarter of these accidents happened when the pedestrians were jaywalking.

Chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council Bernard Tay said the authorities could look into building more facilities such as traffic crossings in estates with older residents.

The Traffic Police also pointed out that through enforcement operations, the number of "reckless and dangerous driving offences" detected increased from 38 in 2014 to 57 last year.

These offences include illegal racing and recklessly weaving in and out of traffic.

"We will mount daily roadblocks to target drink drivers... illegal racing, and reckless riding and driving," said AC Tee.

"Those who misbehave on the road will be taken to task swiftly."

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2016, with the headline 'Key areas of concern: Motorcyclists, reckless drivers, the elderly'. Print Edition | Subscribe