SINGAPORE: While there were fewer traffic accidents last year, the number of drink-driving accidents and motorists who ran red lights went up, annual statistics from the police showed.
The number of drink-driving accidents increased by 17.3 per cent to 176 cases last year, from 150 in 2017, the police said.
Motorcyclists who were drink-driving and got involved in accidents increased by 51.3 per cent to 59 cases in 2018, from 39 cases in 2017.
However, the number of people arrested for drink-driving decreased despite an increase in the number of drink-driving enforcement operations conducted in 2018, police said.
The number of red-light running violations spiked by 15.7 per cent to 53,910 cases, police said. This is 7,311 cases more than 2017's 46,599 violations.
Accidents caused by red-light running increased slightly by 2.6 per cent to 120 accidents, from 117 accidents in 2017.
FEWER MOTORISTS SPEEDING
Speeding violations, however, saw a decrease. The number of speedsters detected fell by 5 per cent to 156,157, from 164,319 in 2017.
The number of speeding-related accidents also slid to 719 cases from 762 cases in 2017 (-5.6 per cent).
The Traffic Police will be leaning more on technology to detect and deter speeding motorists, it said.
Last December, it launched the new Average Speed Camera system along a 4km stretch of Tanah Merah Coast Road, which tracks the average speed of the vehicle over that stretch of road rather than at a single spot.
The Traffic Police will consider deploying this system at other locations in future, it said.
It also trialled blinker lights to warn motorists before they enter speed enforcement zones. These will be progressively implemented islandwide by 2022.
FEWER ROAD ACCIDENTS, ELDERLY PEDESTRIANS A CONCERN
The number of accidents resulting in injuries fell slightly by 0.5 per cent to 7,690 cases last year, from 7,726 in 2017. This number is the lowest in five years.
However, the number of fatalities from accidents remained similar to 2017 - at 124, up slightly from 121. The road traffic fatality rate per 100,000 population increased slightly to 2.20 in 2018, from 2.16 in 2017.
The number of fatal accidents involving motorcyclists increased to 65 cases, from 45 cases in 2017.
Motorcyclist and pillion rider fatalities increased to 61 from 44 in 2017 (38.6 per cent). They accounted for almost half of all road traffic fatalities in 2018.
Accidents involving elderly pedestrians remain a concern, police said. While the number of accidents involving the elderly (259) fell by 6.2 per cent, they made up a quarter of all accidents with pedestrians.
Elderly pedestrians accounted for two-thirds of all pedestrian fatalities in 2018. Half of these fatal accidents were due to jaywalking.
The Traffic Police urged motorists to look out for elderly pedestrians and said it will continue to educate seniors on the dangers of jaywalking.
The annual statistics were released as Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling launched the Use Your RoadSense 2019 campaign.
The traffic landscape has changed with the increasing prevalence of personal mobility devices and electric bicycles, police said.
"There is a need to promote greater graciousness and responsibility among increasingly diverse groups of road users," the release said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will also conduct a review of traffic laws to impose heavier penalties on irresponsible drivers, it said.