Published: 20 August 2016
Mr Bernard Tay, Chairman, Singapore Road Safety Council,
Mr Lim Kok Thai, Deputy Commissioner of Police,
Distinguished Sponsors, Partners and Guests,
1. Thank you very much for the warm welcome. It is my pleasure to join you today at the launch of Singapore Ride Safe 2016.
2. This is the tenth year that we are organising the Singapore Ride Safe event. This is an important event to spread road safety messages to motorcyclists and their pillion riders.
3. I am very glad that this year's event is being organised in conjunction with the Singapore Bike Show 2016. From what I have seen so far, the event is drawing large crowds of people who are riders or are into biking. This helps us spread the message to more people, on the importance of riding safely to save lives, and make our roads safer.
Motorcyclists are Over-Represented in Accidents and Fatalities
4. Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of road users in Singapore. By a show of hands, how many of you know of someone who has been in a serious motorbike accident? Thank you, you may put your hands down. Our statistics show that motorcyclists were involved in more than half of all fatal and injury accidents in the past few years. This is of great concern to us. One life lost is a life too many. And behind every rider who lost his life or became disabled is a family – parents, wife or children. We must do more as a community to stop these tragedies from happening.
Enhancing Road Safety for Motorcyclists
5. As part of this effort, the Traffic Police is continually exploring new ways to raise awareness of road safety amongst the motorcycling community. For instance, at a Ride Safe dialogue between TP and the motorcycling community last year, one suggestion was raised for TP to reach out to companies with many local and foreign employees who ride to work. TP has followed up on this, and worked with local companies to give out road safety advisories to their employees. For example, TP has engaged PSA Corporation and provided more than 1,000 advisories to PSA riders.
6. We also recognise that many motorbike riders come from Johore. To encourage foreign bikers to ride safely, TP has also installed road safety billboards at both Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints early this year.
7. The Workplace Safety and Health Institute and Council are also key partners in this effort. In February this year, the Workplace Safety and Health Institute conducted focus group discussions with vocational riders and their supervisors to understand the challenges that delivery riders face, and causes of work-related traffic accidents.
8. To enhance road safety for motorcyclists, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) regularly conducts road safety reviews such as the Road Safety Assessment, Blackspot Programme and Crash Site Investigation. For example, LTA uses TP's accident data to identify locations with high motorcycle accident rates due to skidding. Subsequently, LTA put up banners with safe-riding messages at these locations to encourage safer riding behaviour.
Wear Safe. Ride Safe
9. Even as we try to prevent accidents, some accidents will still happen. We must, therefore, do our best to protect ourselves from the possible injuries sustained. This is why for the tagline of this year's Singapore Ride Safe, we would like to encourage motorcyclists to 'Wear Safe. Ride Safe'.
10. 'Wear Safe' means wearing the right personal protective equipment when riding. The motorcycling community in attendance here was encouraged to 'Wear Safe' today to show its support for this event. We will watch a video later to learn about common causes of accidents involving motorcycles, and how wearing safe can save lives and reduce injuries sustained in the event of a traffic accident.
11. In a later session today, Dr Caroline Simon from the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital will be sharing her insights on how wearing the right protective clothes and equipment can reduce the seriousness of injuries sustained in traffic accidents. I hope all the riders here will be convinced of the need to 'wear safe'.
12. As part of this year's Singapore Ride Safe, we would also like to reach out to delivery riders and their companies. Delivery riders spend a big part of their time on the roads to meet delivery schedules. It is thus especially important for them to wear the right personal protective equipment when riding.
13. Companies can also play a part to protect their riders. I am pleased to announce that delivery companies like Food Panda, Dominos Pizza, and Ananda Bhavan have come forward to purchase riding jackets for their riders. This is a generous gesture to make a real difference to the lives of their riders. I encourage all companies that are present today to pledge that their riders will 'Wear Safe' and Ride Safe, and add your names to the pledge board.
Everyone has a Role to Play in Road Safety
14. Ultimately, road safety is a shared responsibility. All of us must do our part to keep our roads safe. We hope that motorcyclists will take extra precautions when you are travelling on the roads. Do not be impatient, and do not be complacent. Exercise caution to avoid dangerous situations. And 'Wear Safe' to protect yourselves from injuries.
15. We also urge other road users to do their part and look out for motorcyclists. Slow down, give way and be alert.
16. Finally, I would like to thank the Traffic Police, Singapore Road Safety Council, Land Transport Authority, and Workplace Safety and Health Institute and Council for organising this event for the motorcycling community. I would also like to thank the sponsors and partners for your strong and long-standing support for Singapore Ride Safe.
17. On this note, I am pleased to launch the Singapore Ride Safe 2016. I wish everyone an enjoyable day and a safe year ahead! Thank you.