Published: 28 September 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be joining all of you in launching Singapore Ride Safe 2019.
Enhancing Road Safety
2. The Traffic Police had earlier released their mid-year statistics. There were fewer accidents in the first half of this year, compared to the first half of last year.
3. While the overall road situation has improved, there are a number of areas of concern.
a. First, the total number of accidents involving pedestrians in the first half of 2019 increased by 60% to 183, from 115 in the same period in 2018. Further, the number of fatalities who were elderly pedestrians increased to 17 from 11 in the same period in 2018.
b. About a third of all accidents involving elderly pedestrians was attributed to jaywalking. We need to raise awareness amongst the elderly, that they should use the pedestrian crossings when crossing the roads, and refrain from jaywalking. This is to keep them safe, and also to keep our motorists safe.
c. At the same time, motorists must pay greater attention to elderly pedestrians. We have an ageing population – the number of elderly in Singapore will increase. We urge motorists to be more patient, more alert, and more careful, to give way to pedestrians, especially the elderly.
4. Second, to an issue that is at the core of today’s event, motorcyclists remain an extremely vulnerable group of road users.
a. In the first six months of 2019, 60% of all injury accidents on our roads involved motorcyclists.
b. Of greater concern was that there were 33 motorcyclists and pillion fatalities. This was an increase of 18% from the same period in 2018.
c. We have much to do, to improve the road safety for motorcyclists.
Ride Responsibly, Staying Safe Every Journey
5. It is critical that we strengthen public education and outreach efforts to the motorcycling community. The Traffic Police works with its partners to educate and encourage motorists to adopt safe driving and riding behaviour. It has stepped up its public education and engagement efforts in recent years.
6. For example:
a. In 2015, Traffic Police started the “Use Your Roadsense” campaign, which provides regular advisories to the public over social media platforms and other channels.
b. In July 2019, Traffic Police collaborated with the Singapore Road Safety Council, or the SRSC, in organising the Roadsense Carnival at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, in conjunction with the SRSC Road Safety Month. It was a successful event, and was attended by more than 3,000 members of public.
7. For motorcyclists in particular, they can help reduce their risk of injuries and accidents by:
a. First, making it a habit to put on safety gear such as riding jackets, gloves and boots. It may not seem significant – and may even be somewhat uncomfortable given our hot and humid weather – but it will make a huge difference in the event of an accident.
b. Second, observing safe riding behaviours, many of which were taught to us right from the start. For example, keeping within the speed limit, maintaining a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front, and staying clear of the blind spots of larger vehicles.
8. As part of this year’s Singapore Ride Safe campaign, Traffic Police launched the Reward the Riders initiative this July to identify and commend riders who displayed positive riding habits and behaviour. Traffic Police commended more than 450 individuals under this initiative.
9. We are happy to note that some of these commendable riders who have displayed exceptional safe riding habits and road behaviour are here with us today. Amongst them are Mr Muhammad Haziq Bin Azmi and Ms Bong Wan Yin.
a. Mr Muhammad Haziq has an impressive 5 years of safe riding, and always wears proper riding gear. He learned a sombre lesson on the importance of “Riding Responsibly” when he saw how his cousin suffered serious injuries as a motorcyclist in a traffic accident.
b. As for Ms Bong, she makes it an effort to don the full proper riding attire – full-face helmet, jacket, gloves and riding boots – because she wants to give her parents a peace of mind. It is a good reminder for all motorcyclists that it is not just our own safety that we should care about, but also the feelings of our loved ones.
10. We hope you will spread the importance of “Riding Responsibly” and “Staying Safe every Journey” to your friends and the wider motorcycling community.
11. Some of you may remember that the Traffic Police launched a collection of characters, known as “The Responsibles”, earlier in June. They represent everyday Singaporeans from all walks of life, and each of them represent a specific group of road users, such as motorcyclists, PMD users and heavy vehicle drivers. They also exemplify 7 key values which I hope all road users can adopt so that we can keep ourselves safe: I would like to repeat them here.
a. To be Cautious. In order to reach your destination safely, do not weave in and out of traffic or travel at high speeds.
b. To be Reliable. Do not cross the roads without first checking your surroundings.
c. To be Patient. Take the pedestrian crossing and wait for the green man to light up in your favour.
d. To be Mindful. Take the effort to look out for fellow road users by checking blind spots and keep within the speed limit.
e. To be Dependable. Always follow traffic rules and regulations because safety should be our first priority.
f. To be Sensible. Slow down when approaching pedestrian crossings and give ample notice when overtaking other road users.
g. And lastly, to be Gracious. Be considerate by giving way and signaling early to other road users.
12. Safety on our roads is a shared responsibility amongst us all. All road users, including motorcyclists, must be responsible when using the roads.
13. On this note, it is my privilege to launch the Singapore Ride Safe 2019. Let us all “Ride Responsibly” and “Stay Safe every Journey”.
14. Thank you.