SINGAPORE: Since late December, there have been at least eight cases of drivers going against the flow of traffic that have been flagged to the Traffic Police (TP).
"Out of those cases, we find that majority of the incidents that happened, the drivers had actually entered into the lanes unintentionally," Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee said in a news conference on Wednesday (Jan 11).
He added that a high-profile case of a Mercedes going against traffic on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Dec 19 may have inspired other people to share footage captured on their dashboard cameras of similar incidents.
The incident on the AYE claimed the life of one driver and injured four people including the driver of the Mercedes. He has since been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Among the incidents that TP was alerted to since then:
Dec 28, 2016 - At around 12pm, an 85-year-old man in a black Mercedes accidentally turned into the wrong lane at Bedok North Street 1 from Block 217 and drove against traffic for about 150m. He was unable to make a U-turn due to the centre divider.
Dec 31 - A motorcyclist rode against traffic flow at Lorong Chuan. Police said they are looking into this case.
Jan 2, 2017 - A silver Toyota was found to be on the wrong side of road along the CTE. Police said this was not an intentional case of driving against the flow of traffic.
Jan 2 - Another case of a dark grey hatchback vehicle filmed going against the flow of traffic at Gateway Drive. Police are investigating.
Jan 5 - A driver of a red BMW coupe was spotted going against the flow of traffic on the AYE (Tuas) at 1.30am near Jubilee Road. The man is set to be charged in court on Jan 12 for dangerous driving. He is also under investigation for drink driving.
Jan 5 - A 42-year-old man accidentally drove his white Mercedes into the wrong turning lane at 12.35pm at Cavenagh Road. Police said the man was unfamiliar with the roads.
Jan 6 - A dark grey Kia went against traffic on Dover Road. Police are investigating.
Jan 7 - A white Subaru was caught going against traffic at Orchid Club Road after crossing double white lines. Police said the man was found to have done this “wilfully”.
ROADS “STILL GENERALLY SAFE”
SAC Tee promised “stern action” against the drivers found to have gone against the flow of traffic intentionally. Still, he added: “The Traffic Police would like to assure the public that majority of the drivers who went into the wrong lanes are unintentional and the roads are generally safe. But we still want to advise motorists to be careful, especially at junctions and exercise extra vigilance so that you enter into the proper lanes.”
TP said it is working with the Land Transport Authority - as well as the management of various condominiums and retail destinations - to put up clearer road markings and signs to alert drivers to the correct direction of traffic. This would be useful especially for drivers who are unfamiliar with the roads, police said.
Currently, TP uses cameras that can automatically detect drivers who beat traffic lights or speed. “This is an area we are looking at - whether we can use technology to help us detect vehicles going against the flow of traffic, whether intentionally or unintentionally,” SAC Tee said.
“We deploy cameras where there are higher chances of accidents or there is a danger zone and this is a risk-based approach. We will use this same method to assess if there are areas where we think it's useful to deploy sensors to detect vehicles going against traffic flow.”