Mr Bernard Tay,
Chairman, Singapore Road Safety Council
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. I am pleased to join you to launch this year's Singapore Road Safety Month.
2. The Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) first launched the annual Singapore Road Safety Month campaign in 2013.
a. Since then, we have achieved good results in enhancing road safety in Singapore.
3. For example, the number of road fatalities has fallen.
a. Last year, there were 141 fatalities, compared to 160 in 2013.
4. However, each fatality is still one too many.
a. We must continue to stay vigilant, and do what we can to further reduce the number of road fatalities.
5. Moreover, we have seen an increase in accidents resulting in injuries over the past four years.
- In 2016, there were close to 8,300 such accidents, compared to around 7,600 in 2013.
Reaching Out to Vulnerable Groups
6. We have to step up efforts to make our roads safer.
7. We are most concerned about three groups of vulnerable road users:
- First, motorcyclists. They were involved in more than half of all fatal and injury accidents in the past few years.
- Second, elderly pedestrians. The number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians has been going up. Last year, there were about 20% more fatal and injury accidents involving our elderly, compared to the previous year.
- Third, children. Parents will be most concerned about this group. We want to bring up our children to become safe road users.
8. Our efforts to improve road safety have to go beyond infrastructure enhancements like school zones or Silver Zones, and beyond ensuring that drivers keep to speed limits and obey traffic rules.
- We also need to reach out to these vulnerable groups, so they too understand the importance of taking care of themselves on our roads.
9. The SRSC and Traffic Police (TP) have stepped up their outreach to these groups.
10. For instance, SRSC and TP have been organising the Singapore Ride Safe event for last ten years.
- Last year, SRSC and TP engaged motorcycle riders on the importance of wearing protective riding gear when riding.
- Some delivery companies generously came forward to purchase riding jackets for their riders.
11. For elderly pedestrians, SRSC and TP launched the Road Master Test Kit in November last year, to help the elderly assess their eyesight, hearing and reaction time, and raise their road safety awareness.
- These Test Kits were placed at bus stops in neighbourhoods with a higher concentration of the elderly.
- TP has also been engaging elderly road users at community events and places such as Senior Activity Centres.
12. For children,
- Last year, TP reached out to more than 67,000 pre-schoolers and primary school students through road safety talks and sessions, to help the children understand the importance of paying attention on the roads.
13. Apart from public outreach, we are also using technology to shape behaviour and improve road safety.
- TP has deployed more cameras in accident-prone locations to deter speeding and red-light running.
- TP has also started using Mobile Speed Cameras, which can be swiftly set up at new locations to deal with speeding violations.
14. Come next year, TP will be deploying the new Average Speed Cameras (ASCs).
- These cameras will help to shape drivers' behaviours across an entire stretch of road, and not just where the cameras are deployed.
- The first ASCs will be installed along the new stretch of Tanah Merah Coast Road in the first quarter of 2018.
15. TP will also conduct a tachograph trial on heavy vehicles later this year.
- The tachograph tracks and records the vehicle's speed and other driving information.
- Companies that are involved in the trial will be able to track their drivers' tachograph records, and improve the drivers' driving behaviour.
16. Besides these efforts in incorporating technology into our enforcement strategies, it is heartening that the Singapore Road Safety Month this year has taken a significant step to use technology in its outreach and engagement efforts.
- The use of Virtual Reality (VR) will allow road users to experience dangerous situations without putting them in harm's way.
- This will help to raise road safety awareness in new and refreshing ways.
17. SRSC and TP have collaborated with the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) to develop the "IM Road Safety Savvy" VR experience.
- This experience is a mix of 360 degree videos and an interactive game, to teach students road safety skills in an immersive VR environment.
- This will provide an engaging and immersive experience for children to learn and practise road safety skills as if they are on the roads, but without the risks.
- It includes drills such as looking out for the green man, waiting for cars to stop when using pedestrian crossings, and avoiding heavy vehicle blind spots.
- You can try this VR experience at the IMDA exhibition booth.
- We will also make it available at the Road Safety Community Park, and bring it into our schools.
18. Besides reaching out to children, SRSC and TP have also collaborated with Samsung and Harley Davidson to develop two VR road safety videos for motorists and motorcyclists.
- The first video, "Eyes on the Road" by Samsung, gives viewers a first-hand perspective of the potential dire consequences of distracted driving.
- The second video, "Road Sensibility" by Harley Davidson, reminds motorists on the various safe riding measures that should be taken while encountering different road situations.
- You can also try out these videos at the exhibition booths.
19. Through these VR videos, SRSC and TP hope to leave a more impactful impression on the viewers.
- We will continue to look at new ways to improve our engagement efforts, and make the learning experience more interactive and fun.
20. Let me conclude by thanking the Singapore Road Safety Council for organising the Singapore Road Safety Month 2017, and for its many other efforts to improve road safety.
- I would also like to thank the SRSC's partners and sponsors for making this event possible.
- Together, we can all make Singapore's roads safer for everyone.
21. I wish everyone an enjoyable day ahead.
22. Thank you.