Speed limits in some Silver Zones to be lowered to 30kmh as part of trial in 2020

Silver Zones were introduced in 2014 to make roads safer in areas with a large population of senior citizens. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Some roads in areas with a large population of senior citizens will have their speed limit lowered from 40kmh to 30kmh as part of a Land Transport Authority (LTA) trial.

The trial at these Silver Zones will start sometime next year, and may be implemented at other Silver Zones if found to be successful.

LTA did not specify the areas where the trial will be conducted, and said more information would be available at a later date.

Silver Zones were introduced in 2014 to make roads safer in areas with a large population of senior citizens.

This is done through measures such as the narrowing of roads to slow down traffic, as well as wider centre dividers that allow elderly pedestrians to rest while crossing the road.

There are currently 16 Silver Zones islandwide, with nine more under construction. By 2023, there will be 50 such zones.

Experts have suggested lower speed limits would reduce the number of accidents, as well as reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.

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According to the LTA, there has been a 75 per cent reduction in the number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians at Silver Zones.

The Straits Times reported last month (April) that British public health specialist Lucy Saunders had called for speed limits on all non-expressway roads here to be reduced to 30kmh to improve safety.

The LTA has also said it will continue to introduce "localised street improvements" - aimed at reducing traffic speeds and improving pedestrian safety - starting with mature estates such as Yishun, Ang Mo Kio and Tampines.

"The focus initially will be on locations where there are larger numbers of people travelling by foot and by car, such as those near town amenities and schools," said the authority in the 2040 Land Transport Master Plan report.

It also aims to do away with discretionary right turns - where motorists can turn when they determine it is safe to do so - and introduce red-amber-green turn lights at about 1,000 traffic junctions by 2023.

Safety features such as turning pockets and lit road studs will be installed in areas where such turn lights are not possible.

More than 150km of covered linkways connecting MRT stations, residential areas and other amenities will also be completed by 2040.

This is in addition to the 200km of such linkways completed last year (2018) under the Walk2Ride programme.

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