Published: 14 October 2022
Mr. Bernard Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council
Members, Donors, and Partners of the Road Safety Council
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good evening.
2. Thank you for inviting me to join the gala dinner of the Singapore Road Safety Council, or SRSC. This is SRSC’s first gala dinner since the start of COVID-19. I am happy that we can finally resume one of SRSC’s signature events, and connect with one another in-person again.
3. Earlier in February, I attended the SRSC Fundraising Golf at Tanah Merah Country Club, which raised $186,000. Tonight, with the generous support of all of you here, SRSC managed to raise another $550,000. These are substantial amounts, amidst a challenging economy after COVID-19. I hope that you will continue to support SRSC, to make our roads safer for all.
4. First and foremost, I would like to express my appreciation to the SRSC and stakeholders for your strong partnership with the Government, in jointly promoting road safety. This is despite challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
5. Even through the various COVID-19 restrictions, I am glad that SRSC, Traffic Police, and LTA continued to reach out to road users through online channels, to increase awareness of road safety. I had the opportunity to attend some of these events, including the 2021 Singapore Road Safety Awards, which were conducted virtually.
6. Road safety is and remains one of our key priorities. I thank SRSC for exploring new ways to promote road safety, as well as our key stakeholders and partners for continuing to support SRSC during this difficult period.
7. With the easing of COVID-19 safe management measures, we are seeing an increase in traffic volume. SRSC’s work will be critical to ensure that roads stay safe.
8. Based on Police’s mid-year traffic statistics, traffic accidents resulting in fatalities have declined. However, there remain areas of concern, which we can improve on.
9. First, we are seeing a slight increase of accidents the first half of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. In particular, speeding-related violations and accidents, and number of persons arrested for drink-driving have gone up.
10. Second, accidents involving vulnerable road users, like elderly pedestrians and motorcyclist, are a concern, as they account for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents which result in injuries and deaths.
11. Any fatality or accident is one too many. I urge all road users to play their part in keeping the roads safe.
12. Public education and strong partnerships remain our key strategy to ensure safer roads, and I am pleased to see SRSC taking a leading role in this area.
13. In May 2022, SRSC and the Traffic Police launched the Singapore Road Safety Month 2022, with a focus on raising awareness on red-light running and speeding.
14. They also implemented other initiatives targeting vulnerable road users, including the Road Safety Concert for Seniors in Aug 2022, to share useful road safety tips. I heard that the seniors really appreciated the free LED lanyards they received at the event, which they can wear to be easily seen on the roads.
15. Your presence today reflects the public support for SRSC’s work. This, together with the low traffic accident rates, is testament to the success of SRSC in enhancing public education of road safety, and fostering partnerships with the community.
16. Even as we step up public education efforts, road users must continue to exercise personal responsibility, and practise safe driving and riding habits.
17. Today, we will be presenting the Singapore Road Safety Awards to recognise companies, drivers and riders for good road safety systems and practices. The award winners had displayed exemplary safe driving and riding practices. I would like to highlight the good practices of two award winners in particular:
(a) First, Vac-Tech Engineering, which is an industrial waste management company that maintains a fleet of heavy vehicles to carry waste. The company implemented safety requirements like installing speed limiters and blind spot mirrors in their vehicles. In addition, the company proactively adopted GPS technology to track and monitor the movement of these vehicles. Arising from these good practices, Vac-Tech Engineering has seen an improvement in their safety records, and is one of the Company Award winners today.
(b) In another example – Mr Law Pit Soon is an employee at Call Lade Enterprise, where he drives both heavy and light goods vehicles for the company. Mr Law has carried out his duties with care, and maintained a spotless driving safety record with no violations in his four years at the company. Nominated by his employer, Mr Law is one of the Safe Driver Award winners today.
18. Congratulations to Vac-Tech Engineering, Mr Law, and other award winners. Thank you for your contributions towards road safety and for setting an example for others to follow.
19. To conclude, road safety remains an important priority, and I thank SRSC for pursuing its mission tirelessly to keep our roads safe. To everyone in the audience – remember to practise good road safety habits, and where possible, encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to do the same.
20. Congratulations again to the award winners, and I wish all of you an enjoyable evening ahead.