Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Aggregate Number of Road Traffic Accidents that were Caused By Mechanical Failures in the Past Five Years

Published: 13 September 2022


Mr Murali Pillai:
 To ask the Minister for Home Affairs with respect to road traffic accidents caused by mechanical failures in the past five years (a) what is the aggregate number of cases; (b) how many persons have been injured or died as a result; (c) how many vehicles have been damaged; and (d) how many prosecutions are commenced against persons or organisations for failing to properly maintain the vehicles that have caused the road traffic accidents due to mechanical failure.


Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law:

1.   Most road accidents are caused by behavioural factors, such as careless or dangerous driving. Road traffic accidents caused by mechanical failure are in the minority.

2.   Currently, only vehicles involved in fatal accidents are sent by the Traffic Police (TP) for mechanical inspection as part of the investigation process.

3.   Between 2017 and 2021, there were two fatal accidents caused by mechanical failure.  During that period, there were 534 fatal accidents in total.

(a)   In the first case in 2017, six vehicles and one bicycle were damaged, with one fatality and one injured person. This case resulted in a Coroner’s Inquiry. No prosecution action was taken against the driver or vehicle owner, as the mechanical failure was attributed to material fatigue – specifically, the wear-and-tear of a drain valve component, which failed at the time of accident while the vehicle was in operation.

(b)   In the second case, which also took place in 2017, one vehicle was damaged with one fatality and no injured persons. The company which owned the vehicle was charged for permitting the use of a vehicle with mechanical defect, and issued with a court fine.