Published: 01 July 2023
1. Good morning everyone, I am very happy to join you here today. It is my pleasure to launch this year’s Singapore Road Safety Month.
Road Safety Trends
2. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, social and economic activities are starting to go back to normal. Road traffic volume has also increased. While the return to normalcy is welcomed, we are also seeing an increase in traffic accidents. The number of traffic accidents rose in 2022, compared to 2021. Fortunately, this is still lower than pre-pandemic times, and the overall trend is encouraging. It shows that our efforts to improve road safety have had an impact.
3. However, one death is already one too many. Traffic accidents are preventable tragedies.
(a) In 2021, an elderly man was jaywalking when a taxi collided with him. The elderly man passed away due to the accident. The driver was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment for Careless Driving causing Death.
(b) More recently, in October last year, a 14-year-old boy was crossing a traffic junction when a car knocked into him. While the pedestrian light had turned green, the driver failed to notice and drove recklessly. The impact sent the boy flying and he landed some distance away. The boy lost his life. Investigations are currently ongoing.
4. These accidents remind us that we cannot let down our guard.
5. Keeping roads safe is a collective responsibility.
(a) The Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority enforce the road traffic rules, and ensure that road infrastructure is safe. They also educate and engage road users to be gracious and adopt responsible road use habits.
(b) All road users, including everyone in the audience today, also have a role to play. We should follow traffic signs and laws, and exercise courtesy when using the roads. When we all play our part, we set good examples for one another, especially for younger road users.
6. This is very important as our society ages, and we have more seniors in our midst. Based on our statistics, of all fatal accidents involving pedestrians – 70% involved the elderly. Among these accidents – a vast majority, or 74%, involved jaywalking. As a society, we must develop a culture of not jaywalking.
Singapore Road Safety Month
7. Every year, the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council jointly organise the Singapore Road Safety Month. This event has been held annually since 2013 even during the COVID period. It is important that everyone abides by road traffic laws, and practises safe road use habits.
8. Through this event, we hope to improve road safety agenda by educating and engaging various stakeholder groups. With this mission in mind, the organisers for this year’s event have planned many activities for this month.
(a) For example, there are information displays on safe riding. As accidents often happen due to momentary folly or lapse in judgement, it is important to refresh our memory on how to ride ‘defensively’.
(b) There are also exhibitions and mini workshops to teach our young children on how to cross roads safely. It is important for us to inculcate these good practices during the early, formative years of our children’s lives.
9. To conclude, road safety is a shared responsibility and the Government cannot do it alone. I thank our community partners for working closely with us on this important issue. I encourage everyone to join in these activities, and spread the road safety messages to your friends and loved ones. Together, we can help keep our roads safe and secure. Have a good weekend.
10. Thank you.