SINGAPORE - The number of traffic accidents involving right turns has decreased by 40 per cent at junctions where red-amber-green (RAG) turning signals have been installed.
This is based on a sample of traffic junctions with RAG arrows by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), said Transport Minister S. Iswaran on Tuesday (Aug 2) in a written parliamentary reply.
Responding to Mr Shawn Huang (Jurong GRC), Mr Iswaran said RAG arrows have been installed at 798 traffic junctions in place of discretionary right turns.
By the first quarter of 2024, such signals will be rolled out at 1,200 out of the 1,600 junctions here.
At junctions where discretionary right turns are allowed, motorists can make the turn while the green light is on if they deem it safe to do so. With the RAG scheme, they have to wait for the turning arrow to become green before turning right, which reduces the likelihood of collision with oncoming traffic.
The authorities started installing RAG turning arrows in 2018, after two fatal accidents that year involving discretionary right turns that sparked public concern about safety.
In assessing whether to install RAG arrows at a junction, the LTA considers factors such as accident history, vehicle speeds at the intersection and site constraints.
Traffic simulations are run to determine the potential impact of implementing RAG turning arrows on traffic. For major junctions, the assessment may take up to six months.
The LTA has said it takes between two and six months to install RAG turning signals, depending on the complexity of traffic conditions, the presence of underground utilities and the sequence of work.
Mr Kevin Teo, 46, whose job involves accompanying customers taking out cars on test drives, believes that RAG turning signals should be the norm. He said he feels a lot safer as a passenger knowing that his customer will not be taking unnecessary risks at junctions with such signals.
In his reply, Mr Iswaran also said the LTA has completed 24 Silver Zones, with an additional 26 to be in place by 2025. These zones are located in areas with higher concentration of seniors.
Roads in Silver Zones have reduced speed limits and traffic calming measures such as narrower and meandering lanes, raised crossings and speed humps. Mr Iswaran said these zones have reduced accident rate among senior pedestrians by about 80 per cent.