Making the roads safer for motorist and pedestrians

MP of Hougang SMC, Mr Png Eng Huat said in the parliament on Wednesday that although there are fewer fatal and injury accidents in 2012, the government must still ensure that the roads remain safe for all users especially for vulnerable groups like elderly and young pedestrians.

Mr Png asked if LTA could start a Zero Accident Movement for the school zones since LTA has launched a simliar movement for the contractors to tighten up safety processes at their worksites in 2012.

Referring to an update by Second Minister for Home Affairs made last February, stating that there has been a decline of number of accidents within the school zones that involves an injury or fatality and he believes the number of accidents can be reduced to zero.

He proposes that it should be made mandatory for primary schools to have dedicated school crossing patrol wardens at critical school hours.  This will help to ensure the vehicles will stop and remain stationary at the zebra crossing till the crossing is cleared as stipulated in the Road Traffic Act and the warden can also ensure children will not attempt to cross the road in an unsafe manner.

Mr Png also proposed for all zebra crossings on the island to be raised with speed regulating strips to educate and cultivate the practice for drivers to slow down when approaching the crossing regardless of whether there are pedestrians or not.

He said that the signalised junctions should be programmed with some degree of predictability as there are currently different signalling sequences governing such junctions.  All these while the pedestrians are also in these different arrangements for the right of way to cross the junction.

“Many times, we have seen turning motorists moving forward at junctions even though they are not supposed to do so.  We have also seen motorists getting caught in the middle of the junctions because of the confusion.  The most dangerous part of it all is when turning vehicles, while keeping an eye for oncoming traffic, forgot about the pedestrians’ right of way at the turn.” said Mr Png.

He pointed out the statistics of about 170 accidents involving pedestrians at signalised junctions per year in the past five years from 2007 to 2011.  While the number of traffic accidents at such junctions that do not involve pedestrians is about 7 times higher.

He urges the Ministry to look into making the signalised junctions to be more predictable by taking out the guesswork from the use of these junctions, so that fewer mistakes will be made by motorists and pedestrians alike.