Published: 21 March 2017
Mr Bernard Tay, Chairman Singapore Road Safety Council,
Dr William Wan, General Secretary, Singapore Kindness Movement,
Distinguished Sponsors and Guests,
1. A very good morning to all and thank you for the warm welcome. I am happy to launch the Safer Roads Campaign today.
2 This is the fourth Safer Roads Campaign. I am pleased that, the Singapore Kindness Movement and the Land Transport Authority have joined the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council to co-organise this year's event. The Singapore Kindness Movement and the Land Transport Authority are important partners in our efforts to make our roads safer.
Road Safety Situation
3 It is encouraging that the efforts by the Traffic Police, and the Singapore Road Safety Council and their partners to promote road safety have yielded positive results.
4 The road safety situation has improved over the past year, with the overall fatality rate at its lowest since the 1980s. However, every fatality is still one too many.
5 A particular area of concern is the increase in number of elderly pedestrians who were involved in traffic accidents. We must therefore continue our efforts to make our roads safer.
Ongoing Efforts to Promote Safe Road Use
6 The Traffic Police will continue to adopt a multi-pronged approach, comprising the three pillars of enforcement, education, and engagement to keep our roads safe.
7 The deployment of new speed and red-running cameras has had a positive effect on drivers' behaviour on the roads and will remain a priority.
8 Traffic Police will also install a new type of speed cameras, called the Average Speed Cameras (ASCs). They will be installed along New Tanah Merah Coast Road next year.
9 The Average Speed Cameras will ensure that motorists drive at safe speeds along the entire stretch of the road. For motorists who slow down only for the speed cameras to avoid detection and pick up speed quickly again, we are sorry that such tactics may not work in future anymore.
10 The Traffic Police will also work closely with partners such as the Singapore Road Safety Council, to keep up public engagement and community outreach efforts, to promote road safety messages. One example was the launch of the Road Master Test Kit for the elderly in November last year, to help them gauge their Road Sense and strengthen their road safety awareness.
11 The Land Transport Authority has also complemented these efforts with infrastructural improvements, to support and encourage good road use habits.
12 As you travel along the roads, you would have noticed some of these road safety engineering measures. There are now nine Silver Zones for the elderly across the island with elderly-friendly road safety features. LTA has also been improving road signs and pavement markings at enhanced school zones.
13 The theme for this year's Safer Road Campaign is "Choose Graciousness". In some instances, accidents occur not because of dangerous driving or traffic violations, but because drivers and road users are impatient and do not give way to other road users
14 Every one of us – whether pedestrians, cyclists or motorists – can play a part in keeping our roads safe by being a gracious road user.
15 We share the roads with everyone else, and we can choose how we behave on the roads. We can choose to drive very close to the car in front and not let other drivers change lane – but this can put yourself and other road users at risk of an accident. Or you can also choose to give way to other vehicles.
16 Giving way may cost a few seconds of your time, but it will keep you safe and keep others safe. It will make the commuting experience more pleasant for others around us.
17 Choosing graciousness is not difficult. As motorists, we can keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of us, signal early and change lanes carefully.
18 We can be patient when elderly pedestrians take a longer time to cross the roads. As pedestrians, we can be more aware of the traffic conditions around us, and not be engrossed with our mobile devices at road crossings.
19 As cyclists, we can be more careful when we share the pathway with pedestrians. Drivers can be more mindful when there are cyclists on the roads. These small and simple acts that you and I can all do as road users, can lead to big and impactful outcomes.
Building a Culture of Graciousness
20 At the end of the day, we want to build a culture of graciousness on the roads. This is how we can make our roads safer. Let us think back. How many of us encountered a gracious act on our way to the event today? Or in the past week?
21 Those of us who have received such gracious acts, would have appreciated it, and felt good about it. So it is up to us to consciously and actively try to be gracious to others as well. Kindness begets kindness, and we can start a virtuous cycle in which we become more gracious and safer on our roads.
22 To conclude, I would like to thank the Singapore Kindness Movement, Land Transport Authority and all community partners and sponsors, for your generous and continued efforts in promoting road safety.
23 Thank you for working alongside the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council in keeping our roads safe. To everyone here today, let's constantly remind ourselves to "Choose Graciousness", and start by doing something gracious on the roads today.
Thank you very much.