Traffic related deaths dropped marginally in 2016; elderly pedestrian accidents remain a concern

Compared to 2015 the overall road safety situation improved in 2016, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a release on 15 Feb.
There was a decrease in the number of fatal traffic accidents and fatalities, however, a slight increase in the number of accidents that resulted in injuries.
Motorists’ compliance with speed limits improved. There was also a decrease in the number of drink-driving accidents and the number of people arrested for drink-driving.
On the other hand, elderly pedestrians continued to be a group of concern due to the increased number of accidents and fatalities involving them.
There were 140 fatal accidents in 2016, compared to 148 fatal accidents in 2015. The number of fatalities fell from 151 in 2015 to 141 in 2016.
Singapore’s road traffic fatality rate has been declining over the past five years. In 2016, the fatality rate per 100,000 persons fell to 2.51, from 2.73 in 2015. This is the lowest fatality rate since 1981.

Chart 1 / Source: SPF
Chart 1 / Source: SPF
Chart 2 / Source: SPF
Chart 2 / Source: SPF
The number of accidents resulting in injuries increased slightly by 2.7 percent, from 8,058 cases in 2015 to 8,277 cases in 2016.
 Chart 3 / Source: SPF
Chart 3 / Source: SPF
What remains a key area of concern is the traffic accidents involving elderly pedestrians. The number of elderly pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased by 21.7 percent, from 23 in 2015 to 28 in 2016.
The number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians also increased by 19.6 percent, from 224 in 2015 to 268 in 2016.
30.2 percent of these accidents occurred when the elderly pedestrians were jaywalking. The number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians who jaywalked increased by 42.1 percent, from 57 in 2015 to 81 in 2016.
Elderly pedestrians are encouraged to play their part in road safety by refraining from jaywalking. They should use the nearest available pedestrian crossing to cross the road safely. In addition, they are advised to always keep a lookout for motorists when crossing the road, even when they have the right of way.
Traffic Police commander Sam Tee said, “We really need to remind all motorists to look out for the elders in general. More so when they are in areas where the congregation of the elders is much higher, like in the Silver Zones.”
To educate elderly pedestrians not to jaywalk an initiative called the Road Master Test Kit was launched in November 2016.
Image source: SPF
Image source: SPF
These kits assess seniors’ eyesight, hearing and reaction time, more than 1,000 of this kits have been distributed. And some 110 seniors’ activity corners have been identified as places to engage the elderly and distribute the kits at the same time.
In the drink-driving situation there was an improvement. The number of drink-driving related accidents decreased by 2.9 percent, from 138 accidents in 2015 to 134 accidents in 2016. The number of fatalities arising from drink-driving related accidents also decreased. There were 9 such fatalities in 2016, compared to 14 in 2015.
To deter and detect speeding, a range of speed cameras, including Fixed Speed Cameras, Mobile Speed Cameras and the hand-held Police Speed Laser Cameras, have been deployed.
The number of speeding-related accidents decreased by 10.4 percent, from 1,206 accidents in 2015 to 1,081 in 2016. Similarly, the number of fatal accidents involving speeding fell by 16.7 percent, from 48 accidents in 2015 to 40 accidents in 2016.
A new initiative is the deployment of Average Speed Cameras (ASCs). The ASC is a two-point camera system that will detect and compute the average speed of a vehicle as it enters and exits the enforcement zone. The first ASCs will be installed along the new stretch of Tanah Merah Coast Road in the first quarter of 2018.

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