Published: 12 October 2021
1. Good evening. I am very pleased to join you today at TP’s Use Your RoadSense Virtual Show.
2. Singapore has come a long way in our road safety journey, and our roads have become safer over the years.
a. In 2010, we saw 193 traffic fatalities; this fell to 118 fatalities in 2019 and decreased further to 85 in 2020. Although the decrease in 2020 is partly due to lighter traffic as a result of the pandemic, the overall road safety trends are promising.
3. These outcomes reflect the collective efforts of TP and its partners, their measures to encourage road safety and graciousness; as well as the increasing road sense exercised by road users.
4. Our roads are safer, but we can still do better, especially in correcting our own bad behaviour. Let me give you some examples.
a. Last year, half of fatal accidents involving elderly pedestrians were attributed to jaywalking, which is a behaviour that can be avoided.
b. Furthermore, fatal drink-driving accidents increased by a staggering 86%. This is a serious cause for concern, and we need to do better.
Trends and Findings
Perceptions of Own Road Use Behaviour Vis-à-vis Other Road Users
5. I want to highlight a few trends that were observed in the study we conduct on road users on their attitudes and behaviours. First, people generally perceived themselves as being safer and more gracious than other road users. At the same time, people also tend to feel negatively about other road users – associating them with words such as ‘impatient’, ‘aggressive’, ‘discourteous’, and ‘entitled’.
6. We should be mindful of having such a mentality as it may lead to complacency; we might feel that we have already done our part to contribute to safer roads, and attribute blame to others. In reality, there is always more we ourselves can do.
Vulnerable Groups and Unsafe Driving Habits
7. Second, the data also shows that a higher proportion of vulnerable road users – such as elderly pedestrians – admitted to engaging in unsafe road use behaviors to reach their destinations sooner. Examples of such behaviours include jaywalking, and crossing junctions when traffic lights were not in their favour, and so on.
8. Accidents can arise from these behaviours. But these accidents are also easily avoidable. We encourage our elderly pedestrians to use designated pedestrian crossings and to use their concession cards to get extra time to cross the roads if they need.
Improvement in Perceptions Towards Other Road Users
9. That said, there are some encouraging trends from our study.
a. More respondents have noticed that car drivers are slowing down and stopping at zebra crossings, as well as giving way to signalling vehicles.
b. Similarly, an increasing proportion of respondents have observed that cyclists are keeping to the left on roads and giving way to pedestrians on footpaths.
c. Road users are seeing improvements in motorcyclists too - more road users are seeing motorcyclists signalling early and thanking those who give way to them with a courtesy hand signal.
d. These are modest but encouraging improvements, and a reminder to all of us to observe and extend road courtesy.
Commitment to Road Safety
10. TP will continue in its efforts to engage the public on road safety and graciousness.
a. For example, in the first quarter of the year, TP, with support from LTA and the Safe Cycling Task Force, put up banners on safe cycling around Singapore to remind cyclists on road safety.
b. Because of the pandemic, TP has also pivoted from physical to virtual engagements. In May, the Singapore Road Safety Council and TP co-organised the Singapore Road Safety Month, launching a series of road safety videos on speeding and red-light running. And of course, we have this stream that you are watching right now!
11. While TP continues its effort on improving road safety, every road user has their part to play in making our roads safer.
a. If we want to see further progress, we need to cultivate a gracious mindset and adopt a responsible mentality when using the roads.
b. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is to be kinder and more compassionate to each other. I hope we can extend that to our roads too.
12. Let’s always, Use Our RoadSense. Thank you and enjoy the rest of the show.