Published: 22 December 2022
Chairman, Singapore Road Safety Council,
Mr Bernard Tay,
Commander Traffic Police, Gerald Lim,
Members, Sponsors, and Partners of the Singapore Road Safety Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. A very good evening to each and everyone of you. It is my pleasure to be here today to launch this year’s Anti-Drink Drive Campaign.
2. This annual campaign is jointly organised by the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council to educate the public about the dangers of drink-driving, and to remind road users to drink responsibly.
Dangers of Drink-Driving
3. I am sure many of us are familiar with the dangers of drink-driving. Consuming alcohol slows down our brains and impairs our judgement. Even a small amount of alcohol can sharply increase the likelihood of getting into an accident.
4. However, there are some who still under-estimate the effects of alcohol, or over-estimate their tolerance level. They become over-confident, and decide to drive even after a few drinks.
5. But doing so is like playing with fire, as drink-driving can lead to grave consequences. It not only endangers the lives of motorists themselves, but also the lives of all other road users. Family members have to deal with the grief of losing their loved ones, and may struggle to cope with that sense of loss for the rest of their lives.
6. Just a few months ago, in August, a lorry driver crashed his lorry along Old Jurong Road, leading to the deaths of two young men. He was arrested for suspected drink-driving, and investigations are currently ongoing. We have suspended his driving licence, and impounded his vehicle.
7. Given the grave consequences of drink-driving, TP continues to keep a close eye on the drink-driving situation in Singapore.
8. Compared to 2021, drink-driving cases rose in 2022, but is marginally lower than pre-COVID numbers.
(a) In the first nine months of 2022, there were 118 cases of drink-driving incidents which led to deaths and injuries. This is an increase from the 104 cases over the same period in 2021, but is slightly lower than the 123 cases for the same period in 2019.
(b) The number of offenders arrested for drink-driving in the first nine months of 2022 has also increased to 1,249, from 1,088 persons for the same period in 2021. However, this remains lower than the 1,495 offenders arrested for the same period in 2019.
Striving to Keep our Roads Safe
9. Drink-driving is absolutely preventable, and every accident is one too many. Therefore, we need to continue our work to deter and discourage drink-driving. To that end, I would like to express my appreciation to the Singapore Road Safety Council for working together with Traffic Police on this. We are grateful for their help.
(a) Despite the difficulties faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore Road Safety Council has continued with its efforts in advocating for safer roads.
(b) Last year, the Singapore Road Safety Council even managed to conduct their first ever Singapore Road Safety Awards virtual ceremony. I would like to acknowledge the good work of the SRSC.
Collective Responsibility in Preventing Drink-driving
10. To tackle drink-driving, all of us – including drivers – must play our part in preventing drink-driving.
(a) The tagline for this year’s anti-drink-driving campaign is “Drink or Drive, You Decide”.
(b) Even as we take the opportunity to unwind over this festive period, I urge all drivers to exercise personal responsibility and to either drink or drive, but not both.
(c) Should you decide to drink, you should consider using alternative forms of transport, such as hiring a valet service or taking public transport.
(d) There is simply no need to risk your life or the lives of our loved ones, just for sake of convenience.
11. Non-drivers also have a part to play in reminding our friends to avoid drinking and then driving.
(a) Your personal safety is of utmost importance. If your friend who has consumed alcohol offers you a lift, please reject their offer and stop them from driving.
(b) You could also take a step further and help to arrange alternative transport to get your friend home safely.
12. Before I end, I would like to sincerely thank all our community partners and all our road users, for playing their part. Drink-driving is an irresponsible act with grave repercussions. Let us all remember this - If you decide to drink, please do not drive.
13. Thank you, and I wish everyone a joyous and safe festive period ahead!