Published: 05 November 2022
1. Good afternoon, everyone. I’m very excited to be here today. I am so happy to join you for the finale of Singapore Ride Safe 2022 today. The campaign is part of the Traffic Police (TP) and the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC)’s education and outreach efforts to motorcyclists.
Road Safety is a Key Priority
2. As life returns to normalcy with the easing of the COVID-19 situation, traffic volume has increased. Unfortunately, this has also led to an increase in the number of traffic accidents.
(a) In the first half of 2021, there were 3,012 traffic accidents. This increased to 3,159 accidents in the same period in 2022 – in other words, a 5% increase.
3. In particular, we are concerned about the trend for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable on the roads.
(a) In the first half of 2021, there were 1,711 accidents involving motorcyclists, and this increased to 1,733 accidents in the same period in 2022. The increase is not large, but is still of concern, as any increase means a potential loss in lives.
(b) Motorcyclists and pillion riders also continued to make up the majority of persons injured or killed on the roads. They accounted for 55% of all traffic injuries and 56% of traffic fatalities in the first half of 2022.
4. Road safety is a key priority for all of us. The Government takes these trends seriously. That is why TP has been actively engaging road users on safe driving and riding practices, and enforcing the law to weed out irresponsible driving behaviour.
Keeping Roads Safe Is a Collective Responsibility
5. Road safety is a collective responsibility. All of us have a part to play to keep ourselves, our road users, safe. For example:
(a) All road users should follow traffic signs and laws, and exercise courtesy.
(b) All motorists should ensure that their mirrors provide sufficient view, and check that their brakes, lights, and signals are working before moving off.
(c) And most crucially, everyone should check their blind spots before turning the wheel or handlebar. This is defensive driving and riding, and will help to keep you safe.
6. These points may sound obvious and are familiar to most of us. But, failure to observe these basic rules, and driving and riding irresponsibly, is the top reason why accidents occur.
(a) In October, very recently, a 14-year-old student was hit by a car. He was at a pedestrian crossing when the green man sign was on. But he met with an accident. The student was unconscious when he was conveyed to the hospital, and I think we’ve heard recently, unfortunately, that he has passed on. His family obviously is devastated. Our deepest condolences to the family. This is an example of an accident on the road that has claimed a victim. The driver has since been arrested.
(b) In another example, a food delivery rider was killed in an accident in September this year. The driver was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, and has been arrested.
7. I cite these examples to illustrate the human cost of irresponsible road use, and why all of us should treat road safety with utmost importance.
Adopting Safe Riding Habits and Practices
8. TP will continue to engage all drivers and riders to adopt safe riding practices. As mentioned earlier, motorcyclists are, relatively speaking, more vulnerable on the roads. This is why TP is going the extra mile to engage and encourage motorcyclists to practise defensive riding.
9. The Singapore Ride Safe Campaign is part of TP’s ongoing efforts to engage the motorcyclist community.
(a) TP has reached out to more than 15 motorcycle shops, associations, and companies who hire many riders. We want to encourage riders to practice safe riding, and take the necessary precautions. For example, to wear appropriate riding apparel such as long-sleeved riding jackets with bright markings and PSB-approved helmets. This is so that they remain visible and have maximum protection in the event of an unfortunate fall or accident.
(b) From September to October this year, TP stopped more than 40 riders – but not for poor riding behaviour – instead, the very opposite! TP stopped these riders to present them with tokens of appreciation, to acknowledge that they were practicing safe riding habits and they were donning the appropriate safety gear. Some of you will be familiar with this initiative – the ‘Reward the Riders’ campaign.
(c) These individuals are good examples of responsible riders, and we want to acknowledge some of them today. In particular, I want to highlight five exemplary riders: Afif Musairi Bin Musabah, Teymoor Nabili, Daryl Chen Zhongwei, Tobias Chan Si Chow and Louis Tan Qing Zhou. The patrol officers observed that these riders were practicing all the traits of safe, responsible, and gracious riding. They were adhering to traffic rules, giving way to other road users, and donned appropriate riding apparel. I want to thank them for setting a good and positive example for everyone. Whether we are drivers, riders, or pedestrians, everyone should be a gracious and safe road user.
10. To conclude, I would like to thank the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council for helping to advance the road safety agenda. I also want to give special mention to the organisers of the National Bikers Weekend 2022 and Harley Davidson for partnering us today. Thank you for helping us spread the word on road safety.
11. With that, I wish everyone a fruitful event. Thank you.