By Terry Xu
A shocking video circulating on facebook shows a student (supposedly a primary school girl) being knocked by a taxi when the student was trying to run across the road at Sembawang drive. The date on the video shows the accident to have occurred at 5pm, 17th February 2014, Monday.
The video shows a taxi driving down Sembawang drive, picking two passengers along the way before proceeding further down the road. Just as it drove pass the road barrier erected in the middle of the road near block 405, a student ran straight into the path of the taxi (Assumed to be chasing after her bus which is at the bus stop). The taxi was not able to stop in time and sent the student flying in air before landing about two – three metres in front of the taxi. The taxi driver and passengers went forward immediately to take a look at the student.
It is unknown on the status of the student as there is no corresponding news of the accident is found online.
While the student should not have ran across the road without looking out for traffic but a closer look at the video shows an alarming issue about the road barriers erected.
As hard as you might try, the student cannot be seen behind the barrier until it is too late. A mere one second for a driver to react to a person who might be running across the road, especially for a child who is shorter than the barrier itself. The student while running across the road would probably not see the car coming unless it has a signboard on the roof like the one shown in the photo below on the opposite side of the road.
A low profile vehicle would have a problem in viewing what is on the other side of the road at a distance, obstructed by the overlaying steel bars of the barrier. This goes for the same for pedestrians looking out for cars coming from a distance away.
When googling for news on this accident, it is shocking to know that two more accidents have took place on that same road, a short distance away involving students in 2012.
- 13 Jan 2012 – A fatal accident involving a Primary 4 pupil, Lee Yu Heng, nine at 1.30pm. He was hit by a car just steps away from Sembawang Primary School’s entrance in Sembawang Drive. (link)
- 13 Oct 2012 – A five-year-old girl has died after getting hit by a taxi at Sembawang Drive while her brother, sustained head injuries. (link)
While speeding vehicles and pedestrian’s failure to look out for vehicles before crossing the road might just be the main factors in road accidents as the accident shown in the above video. But through this accident, would it be plausible that the road barriers in the middle of the road might cause drivers to be unaware of primary school children intending to cross the road?