If you ride a motorcycle in Singapore, it’s not just your parents who are worried. The Traffic Police are concerned about riders as a group, because they continue to be the most vulnerable road users here.
The statistics are grim: in Singapore there is a motorcycle fatality on average every five days. Last year more than half of fatal accidents involved motorcyclists, with 74 deaths from the biking community out of 155 in total.
Assistant Commissioner and Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee shared the figures today at Singapore Ride Safe 2015, an open forum for various groups to discuss rider safety.
“We are not here just to discuss about doing what is legally right, but also to formulate policies and engender a culture where we watch out for one another. And that is perhaps the greatest takeaway. Obviously one life saved is one life more, and this is why we’re having the dialogue today,” said Commander Tee.
Some 80 stakeholders and road users, comprising representatives from biker clubs to driving schools to the Singapore Road Safety Council, took part in the event at the Harley-Davidson showroom to discuss how bikers can improve their chances on the roads.
Azman Mahmood, a member of Vespa Club Singapore always keeps his front headlight on as required by law, and also makes it a point to wear light-coloured clothing while riding at night to make himself more visible to drivers.
“You are sharing the road with other users. So, even if you are riding defensively, if the other party doesn’t do his part, an accident will happen,” said Azman.
The event was part of a series of dialogues launched in April this year. The sessions between Traffic Police and road users are meant to improve safety by increasing awareness, instead of resorting to harsh enforcement and punishment.
Here’s what Commander Tee had to say to bikers in his letter:
An Open Letter to Road Users
One of the Traffic Police’s key goals is to reduce fatalities on our roads. We simply want our road users to arrive safely at their destinations, whether to meet their loved ones, to their workplaces, or to their leisure spots.
Despite our increasingly congested roads, our road traffic situation has shown improvements over the last few years. The number of fatal traffic accidents and fatalities in 2014 has decreased, as compared to 2013. However, the majority of traffic accidents involve motorcyclists, which continue to be an area of concern. Our records show that one motorcyclist dies on our roads every five days.
We share the roads and our actions affect others. We call upon motorists to look out for other road users, especially the vulnerable — our children, our elderly, our cyclists and other motorcyclists. I also urge the riding community to ride safe for yourself and your loved ones.
Ultimately, road safety is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Traffic Police needs the support of all of you to make the roads a safe place for all users, be it pedestrians or vehicle owners. Together, we must develop our RoadSense, and build a culture of road safety and care for other road users.
One life lost is one too many. Let’s not talk about right of way, but what’s the right way — which is to look out for one another.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Sam Tee
Commander, Traffic Police
Singapore Police Force