Published: 13 October 2023
1. A very good day to all. It is my pleasure to be here today for the launch of Singapore Ride Safe 2023.
2. This is an annual event that is jointly organised by Traffic Police and Singapore Road Safety Council, supported by Land Transport Authority. The event seeks to educate the public about the importance of road safety, and encourage motorcyclists to adopt safe riding habits.
Road Safety is a Key Priority
3. Every day, many Singaporeans use the roads to get to their destinations – be it for school, work or leisure. Keeping our roads safe for all road users is of paramount importance.
4. As such, the Traffic Police keeps a close eye on the traffic accidents in Singapore.
(a) In the first half of 2023, there were 3,542 traffic accidents which resulted in injuries or fatalities. This was a 12% increase from the 3,169 accidents in the same period last year.
5. We are particularly worried about our motorcyclists, as they are vulnerable on the roads.
(a) Motorcyclists and pillion riders continue to make up the majority of persons injured or killed on the roads. They accounted for around 52% of all traffic injuries and 45% of traffic fatalities in the first half of 2023.
(b) In the first half of 2023, there were 1,834 accidents involving motorcyclists – this comprised more than half of all accidents, and was around a 5% increase from the same period last year.
6. The increase in traffic accidents is concerning. While this might be due to an increase in road traffic activity following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it could also be due to worsening driving and riding behaviour.
Encouraging Safe Riding
7. Traffic Police has stepped up their efforts to engage motorcyclists, and encourage them to adopt safe riding habits and practices.
8. Today’s Singapore Ride Safe Campaign is an example of our efforts to engage the motorcycling community. For this year’s campaign, Traffic Police has set up a special exhibition for motorcyclists and other motorists, called “The Last Ride”.
(a) This exhibition showcases the aftermath of an accident involving motorcyclists and pillion riders.
(b) Whilst getting into an accident is not something many of us like to think about, I would encourage everyone to visit the exhibition.
(c) It is a stark reminder of what we risk getting ourselves into if we are not careful on the roads, and to think twice before taking unnecessary risks on the road. This applies not only to motorcyclists, but to all motorists too.
9. In addition, Traffic Police continued to organise the “Reward the Riders” initiative this year to encourage safe riding.
(a) Instead of pulling people over for poor riding behaviour, patrol officers from Traffic Police stopped and rewarded motorcyclists who displayed safe riding behaviour.
(b) These riders were presented with tokens of appreciation, to acknowledge them for practising safe riding habits and donning the appropriate safety gear.
(c) This year, given its popularity with the motorcycling community, we ran the “Reward the Riders” initiative over a longer period of four months.
10. Today, I would like to acknowledge some of these exemplary riders who were identified through the “Reward the Riders” initiative. They are: Mr Mohd Kamil Bin M Salleh, Mr Ronald Koh, Mr Octavius Yap, Mr Prakash Krishnan and Mr Engel Hendrik Beertema.
(a) They were identified for exhibiting safe riding behaviour, donning the appropriate safety gear, and adhering to traffic rules.
(b) For example, Mr Mohd Kamil was spotted wearing leather jacket and pants, with a sturdy pair of riding gloves and a PSB approved helmet. He was also adhering to speed limits. When approaching a zebra crossing, he slowed down and took the effort to look both left and right to check that the crossing was clear before riding through.
(c) Another example was Mr Ronald Koh. As a Comfort Driving Centre Instructor who teaches new motorcyclists how to ride safely, he walked the talk! In full riding gear, he was spotted keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of him, and signalling his intention when changing lanes.
(d) I really want to thank all the motorcyclists for playing their part, making our roads safe, not for just themselves, but for all motorists.
Road Safety is a Collective Responsibility
11. We hope that all motorcyclists can also adopt the good practices shown by our exemplary riders from the “Reward the Riders” initiative.
(a) Please wear the appropriate safety gear when riding. If an accident occurs, safety gear will help protect you from serious injury, and might even save your life.
(b) Always check your blind spots before making a turn or changing lanes.
(c) Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, especially larger vehicles like lorries and buses. Be aware of the drivers’ blind spots.
(d) Most importantly, adhere to traffic rules and speed limits. If you are feeling tired, please consider other forms of transport instead.
12. Everyone else must play their part in keeping roads safe for motorcyclists and other road users too.
(a) Families, relatives, or friends can remind motorcyclists to always prioritise their safety and discourage any form of dangerous road behaviour.
(b) Drivers of other vehicles should look out for motorcyclists, who are naturally more vulnerable on the road.
13. We also encourage companies that manage a large fleet of motorcyclists to promote a safer riding culture.
(a) Cater some buffer in the delivery schedule so that riders have sufficient time for deliveries, especially during peak hours;
(b) Allow riders to have sufficient rest before the start of the workday, and between trips, to reduce fatigue on the roads; and
(c) Remind the riders to schedule regular maintenance for their motorcycles to reduce any faults.
14. To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Traffic Police for working tirelessly to keep our roads safe. I would also like to thank our partners, the Singapore Road Safety Council and the Land Transport Authority, for putting together and supporting today’s event, and for being our strongest advocates for road safety.
15. I would also like to thank all of you for joining us. We really appreciate all your support, because road safety is our collective responsibility.
16. Thank you, and I wish you all a fruitful event.