SINGAPORE: Between September 2019 and February this year, 6,500 drivers were caught speeding on five roads in Sengkang.
They were caught along Fernvale Street, Fernvale Link, Jalan Kayu, Fernvale Road and Sengkang West Way, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam said in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Monday (Apr 5).
MP Gan Thiam Poh (PAP-Ang Mo Kio) – who oversees the ward where the roads are located – asked for the number of drivers caught speeding on those five roads in the past 18 months. He also asked if those roads should be considered as “speeding red zones”.
While the Traffic Police does not define areas as "speeding red zones", Sengkang West Way accounted for the “vast majority” of speeding violations on the five roads, Mr Shanmugam said.
“For Sengkang West Way, the Traffic Police is also studying the feasibility of deploying a speed camera to increase deterrence,” he said.
Besides speeding, Mr Gan also asked that the authorities clamp down on drivers who illegally modify their vehicle engines, causing excessive noise.
Mr Shanmugam said the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority have been conducting joint operations, including at these locations, to detect speeding and illegal modification of vehicles.
Speaking to CNA, Mr Gan said he asked the question because of feedback from residents.
“Residents have been writing to me, sharing with me complaints about the speeding issue,” he said. Their issues include being awakened by loud noises caused by vehicles that were possibly illegally modified in order to go faster, he said.
He has been asking the authorities to take action since last year, he added.
“Residents suggested a permanent camera – it’s a more sustainable solution,” he said.
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TO REDUCE NOISE, RESIDENTS HAVE TO CLOSE WINDOWS
Residents living near the roads told CNA that the noise has at times interrupted their sleep.
Madam Murni Salim, who has lived in the area for about six years, said the noise starts around midnight and keeps her up until 3am.
“The exhaust goes ‘pop pop pop’. They are speeding, if not it (the sound) cannot go ‘pop pop pop’,” she said.
The 55-year-old, who lives on the fourth floor, said that she would hear the vehicles making rounds. One car, in particular, sets off from the car park that is linked to her own block.
The living room and bedrooms in her flat face Sengkang West Way.
Another resident, Ms Voo Li Oi, 40, said that the vehicles go “in rounds” around the area. Some parts of her home face Sengkang West Way.
“It’s irritating, so I went to check what happened,” said Ms Voo, who has been living in the area for more than a year. She has seen motorcycles and cars speeding along the road, she said.
To reduce the noise, she has to close her windows.
Like Ms Voo, Ms Chen Jiahui, 35, has no choice but to close her windows to reduce the noise.
Ms Chen, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 16 years, said that speeding is "rampant" in the area. On one occasion a few months ago, the noise woke up her eight-month-old daughter.
"Every night I close the windows, it's better. Otherwise, there'll be sudden noises," she said.
However, she noticed that the situation has improved recently after the authorities stepped up enforcement.
Any person caught speeding can be fined up to S$1,000 and jailed up to three months, Any person who illegally modifies a vehicle can be fined up to S$5,000 and jailed up to three months. Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders.
Mr Gan said that while many of the complaints are about the loud noise at night, speeding does happen in the daytime.
“I need to protect my residents. There are schools, childcare centres nearby,” he said.