The Singapore Road Safety Council’s Gala Dinner & Concert - Opening Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 01 September 2016

Mr Bernard Tay,


Chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council,


Distinguished Sponsors, Partners, Friends and colleagues from Home Team


1. It is my pleasure to join you here today at this event - Gala Dinner and Concert.  



2. We have a common purpose to keep our roads safe for all our road users, motorists or pedestrians, young or old. 


3. Our road safety situation is good. It's improving. The fatality rate per 100,000 persons has been steadily declining over the past five years[1]. So we have been improving in terms of our key objectives.   




4. This work cannot be done by Traffic Police and LTA alone. The community plays a critical and key role. We want the community to be safe for road users. We want the community to support our programmes and events, and the road safety message has got to be spread to everyone.   


5. In this, the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) has been a key partner for the community as well as the Ministry, in terms of our reaching out to the community.  In May of this year, the SRSC launched the Singapore Road Safety Month. This is the Council's flagship event. The focus for this year is on the young and cyclists. The SRSC worked with Volvo to launch a "Stop, Look, Wave" Road Safety Programme for children and it has also worked with LTA on a Safe Cycling Programme.  


6. Last month, it worked with its partners to launch the Singapore Ride Safe Campaign 2016. The theme is "Wear Safe, Ride Safe". The campaign aims to develop safe riding habits among motorcyclists and their pillion riders. Several delivery companies have pledged their support for this campaign.




7. Another key partnership is the Safer Roads Industry Taskforce (SRIT). SRIT's specific focus is to promote safe driving for vocational drivers. It was formed three years ago and has representatives from government agencies, logistics companies, bus and taxi companies and unions. Some of you are present today. Mr Bernard Tay, Chairman, SRSC, was also a member.                                                                            


8. The SRIT has considered the landscape, looked at the issues and provided its recommendations to the Government. We have studied them and we will follow up on the implementation.  


9. The recommendations from SRIT cover three key areas. The first one is for TP and LTA to develop a vehicular technology roadmap to identify the most relevant and effective technology. For example, the Fleet Management Systems for route planning and speed tracking and tachographs, which track and record vehicles' speeds and distances travelled. The SRIT has recommended to install tachographs in all heavy vehicles. We will embark on a trial in 2017 to study this further.     


10. The second key thrust is to broaden training and outreach. This is especially important for vocational drivers who are on the roads for long periods of time. The SRIT has recommended to develop a national structured training programme for these drivers. They also recommended that training courses be made mandatory for vocational drivers with accident records or high demerit points. We will study this recommendation. The SRIT has also recommended to improve recognition of vocational drivers, and enhance our outreach. In 2016, TP conducted outreach campaigns that that targeted vocational drivers and taxi drivers. We will continue these efforts.  


11. The third key thrust is to strengthen company systems and processes. Employers play a key role in shaping attitudes and approaches. In this context, a number of recommendations have been made. One, to encourage employers to take greater responsibility to improve road safety. Two, to build company workplace safety and health capabilities, for example, through training courses and sharing of best practices and three, for LTA as industry regulator to continue to emphasise road safety through regular engagements with its partners and transport service providers.   


12. Our road safety is a shared responsibility. Everyone has a role to play. All of us, road users and community stakeholders. SRSC will be a key partner playing an important role in promoting this. My Ministry and the Traffic Police will do our best to support them and work with them. I am grateful for the work that they are doing to save lives. 


13. I congratulate the SRSC for its good work and I would like to thank all our sponsors and partners for your strong and long-standing support. I am told that many of you are long-term supporters. Without you, it is not possible for this work to be done. On this note, I wish everyone of you an enjoyable evening and a safe year ahead! Thank you.   


[1] Fatality rate per 100,000 persons steadily declined from 3.76 in 2011 to 2.75 in 2015, i.e. by about 7.5% per year.