Published: 20 November 2023
Mr Bernard Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council
Members, Donors, and Partners of the Road Safety Council
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. A very good evening. Thank you for inviting me to this gala dinner. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your generous support. The Singapore Road Safety Council managed to raise over $500,000 from corporates and individuals, inclusive of the Dollar-for-Dollar matching grant by Tote Board.
2. Road safety is a priority for the Government, and the SRSC has been a key partner. The funds raised will allow them to carry on with their important work.
3. SRSC’s work is important because road safety remains a key concern for us.
(a) There were 3,542 traffic accidents in the first half of 2023. This was a 12% increase from the 3,169 cases observed in the same period last year.
4. Elderly pedestrians and motorcyclists remain our key concern. They continue to account for a disproportionate number of traffic accidents which resulted in injuries or death.
(a) The number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians increased from 120 in the first half of 2022, to 145 in the same period in 2023. That’s an increase of around 20%.
(b) The number of accidents involving motorcyclists increased from 1,751 in the first half of 2022, to 1,834 in the same period in 2023. That’s an increase of around 5%.
Public Education and Partnerships
5. To address these trends, public education and partnerships remain our key strategy.
6. TP collaborated with the SRSC to organise several events this year:
(a) In July, we had the annual Singapore Road Safety Month. This year’s campaign focused on the dangers of speeding and jaywalking.
(b) In August, we held the Road Safety Concert for Seniors. More than 400 seniors attended in person, and the concert also garnered close to 24,000 viewers online.
(c) At the concert, TP and SRSC handed out LED wristbands, which are meant to increase the wearer’s visibility on the roads. The LED wristbands were well received by the seniors.
Launch of Road Safety Storybook for Children
7. Road safety education starts from young. Today, we are launching a road safety storybook for children, titled “Road Safety with Kay & Bear Bear”.
(a) This animated storybook is jointly produced by SRSC, together with TP and Toyota.
(b) There will be approximately 4,500 copies of the book distributed to 2,050 kindergartens and childcare centres through the Early Childhood Development Agency. It will also be available in 30 libraries.
(c) There is also a digital copy of the book. I encourage preschools and parents to download it from the SPF and SRSC websites.
AA Singapore 98-day AUTOVENTURE™ London-Singapore Expedition Drive 2023
8. SRSC also promotes road safety through partnerships to gain international recognition. One example is the Automobile Association Singapore 98-day Autoventure London-Singapore Expedition Drive 2023, which SRSC supported.
(a) From 5 Aug to 10 Nov this year, an entourage of 12 vehicles and 37 participants embarked on a driving expedition from London to Singapore.
(b) Throughout their journey, they encountered situations that tested their driving skills and road safety knowledge – they showed me photographs. It wasn’t easy, but they not only had the resilience, they also had the skill needed to overcome the challenges, and I want to congratulate them for making the effort and completing the journey.
(c) Some of the participants in the Expedition Drive are here today. They will be sharing their experience through a short video later.
9. Beyond public education, road users must exercise personal responsibility, and practise safe driving and riding habits.
Singapore Road Safety Awards
10. Today, we will be presenting the Singapore Road Safety Awards to companies, drivers and riders for good road safety systems and practices.
11. I would like to congratulate all the award winners today. Thank you for playing your part to keep our roads safe.
12. In particular, allow me to highlight two of the award winners:
(a) First, SP Services Ltd, winner of the Excellence Award in the Company Awards, Light Goods Vehicle Fleet category. Apart from doing robust fleet maintenance like many of our winning companies here, SP Services has also put in effort to set up a strong safety culture. SP Services invests heavily in driver safety awareness training and retraining. Drivers are sent for internal and external road safety talks and defensive driving training every three years. SP Services also implemented a monetary reward system to entice drivers to attain a zero-accident target. I commend SP Services’ efforts; keep up the good work. A strong safety culture can go a long way and I encourage more companies to do the same.
(b) Second, Mr Lim Yew Poon, one of the winners of the Safe Driver Award. Mr Lim is a Master Bus Captain. He has been driving buses for the past 36 years. He has maintained a stellar driving safety record, with a zero-accident record for the past 7 years. Mr Lim also played an important role in the risk assessments for the commencement of operations of the new Woodlands Integrated Transport Hub in 2021. He was a key member in a safety project which involved the installation of an additional door sensor to prevent passenger mishaps, which won an award in 2022.
13. Please join me in congratulating all the award recipients. I have been not only supporting but also participating in the road safety efforts for many years, even before I joined MHA. I was in MOT, and I worked very closely with the community. It has been more than 10 years since I first started. What touched me is the people and the stakeholders involved in this journey. They know that this is very important work, and a meaningful cause. You notice people consistently giving their support - for some, helming the portfolio for many years because they believe in providing a safe environment for us to carry out our daily activities on the road. They are also concerned about the safety and the lives of the fellow road users. What also touched me is that for some, it’s not only about being part of the community, but putting in that effort, no matter how little, that completes the whole puzzle of building a safer road ecosystem.
14. From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to sincerely thank you for doing this because you care about for your fellow Singaporeans, and care for the future of our families.
15. I want to conclude by reminding each of us again that road safety remains a priority. I thank the SRSC for its strong partnership with the Government in promoting road safety, and for organising this evening’s event.
16. On behalf of the government, I want to thank all of you for giving your full support in this area. Thank you, and I wish all of you a great evening.