Published: 22 November 2015
Mr Bernard Tay, Chairman Singapore Road Safety Council
Commander Training Command, Mr Loy Chye Meng
Commander Traffic Police, Mr Sam Tee
Distinguished Sponsors and Guests
1. Good afternoon.
2. I am happy to join all of you for this road safety concert.
Vulnerability of senior citizens
3. Every now and then, when I flip the newspapers, I will come across very sad and distressing news about horrific traffic accidents. Many involve pedestrians getting hit by cars, buses or trucks. And often, they involve children or seniors.
4. We treasure our elderly in Singapore. You worked hard to build today's Singapore. And you have brought up generations of younger Singaporeans.
5. But the data shows that our seniors are vulnerable road users. From January to September this year, 15 seniors aged 60 and above lost their lives in very unfortunate traffic accidents. For the same period last year, we mourned the loss of 18 seniors.
This is a big concern. Every accident is just one too many.
6. We can prevent such accidents by keeping up our efforts in three areas.
7. First, Government will continue to implement more road safety measures to protect you.
8. Second, we will continue to encourage drivers to be especially mindful of our elderly & vulnerable pedestrians.
9. Third, and most importantly, we want to encourage you, our seniors, to take even greater care on the roads, in your Golden Years.
10. Let me touch on each very briefly.
Doing more for our elderly
11. First, the Government will continue to implement road safety features for our elderly road users.
12. For example, for many pedestrian crossings, our seniors just need to tap your senior citizen EZ-Link card [乐龄优惠易通卡], and you will get extra time to cross the road. This was introduced by LTA in 2009.
13. LTA also made two areas in Singapore elderly friendly: Bukit Merah View and Jurong West St 52 were converted to Silver Zones [乐龄安全区]. Cars have to drive even more slowly. There are additional warning signs and road markings. Zebra crossings are raised. All these help to make the roads safer for you, our seniors.
14. Five more areas will be turned into Silver Zones by the end of this year, and by 2017, we will have a total of 15 Silver Zones.
15. Our seniors also find it difficult to climb up the steps to use pedestrian overhead bridges. LTA has installed lifts at pedestrian overhead bridges in areas where we have more seniors. And they will do so at even more areas.
Practise Good Road Behaviour
16. While safety measures are very important, I think it is even more important that all of us take care when using the roads.
17. As we grow older, our reflexes may slow down. Our eye sight may not be as good as before. Our ability to judge how fast cars are moving may not be so accurate. Crossing the road may take longer than in the past. So this means that we need to obey traffic rules, keep a careful lookout, and use zebra crossings, pedestrian crossings and overhead bridges or underpasses where available. And also share this with our friends and loved ones too.
18. Our seniors in Singapore are well known to show more concern about others, such as their children and grandchildren, than on their own selves. But I'm sure your children and grandchildren worry too, and want you to take good care, especially when they are at work or in school and can't accompany you when you go out.
Everyone has a part to play
19. Third, all of us who are drivers must do our part to keep our roads safe. We must never be complacent and should always exercise caution to protect ourselves and others from dangerous situations.
20. I would like to encourage motorists to be gracious and patient with elderly pedestrians. Slow down, give way and drive safely.
21. Finally, I would like to thank the Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council for organising this concert for our seniors.
22. I would also like to thank the Tote Board and Singapore Pools Private Limited, for your strong and long-standing support for the Road Safety Concert for the Golden Age.
23. With this, let us enjoy the Road Safety Concert. I wish everyone an enjoyable day and a safe year ahead! Thank you.