Overall road safety situation has improved, but elderly fatalities up: SPF

Overall road safety situation has improved, but elderly fatalities up: SPF

The fatality rate from road accidents last year was the lowest recorded in 35 years, but more elderly pedestrians were killed, according to an annual road traffic situation report.

SINGAPORE: The overall road safety situation in Singapore improved last year compared to 2015, but accidents involving elderly pedestrians remain a key concern, according to the Singapore Police Force's (SPF) annual road traffic situation report released on Wednesday (Feb 15).

According to the report, the number of fatal accidents occurring on the roads fell from 148 in 2015 to 140 in 2016. The number of fatalities also dropped from 151 in 2015 to 141 in 2016, continuing a downward trend over the past five years.

The fatality rate dropped to its lowest since data collation for the report began in 1981. In 2016, the fatality rate was 2.51 per 100,000 persons, down from 2.75 in 2015.

There were also fewer accidents and violations involving speeding. The number of speeding-related accidents decreased by 10 per cent from 1,206 accidents in 2015 to 1,081 in 2016. Similarly, the number of fatal accidents involving speeding also fell by about 16 per cent to 40 accidents in 2016, down from 48 accidents in 2015.

However, the number of elderly pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased from 23 in 2015 to 28 in 2016. At the same time, the number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians also went up nearly 20 per cent, from 224 in 2015 to 268 in 2016.

Commander of the Traffic Police Sam Tee said the authorities will reach out to more elderly people to educate them on the dangers of the roads and how to use the roads safely. "Similarly, we hope that motorists will do their part to look out for elderly pedestrians," he added.

One recent initiative is the Road Master Test Kit launched last November, which aims to help the elderly gauge their road sense and strengthen their road safety awareness.

From February this year, the test kits will also be made available through dispensers at bus stops in areas with a high concentration of accidents involving elderly pedestrians such as Outram, Bishan and Serangoon.

Despite the overall drop in accidents and fatalities, the Traffic Police also said it will continue to look into new ways to safeguard all road users.

It will be deploying new Average Speed Cameras - which can detect and compute the average speed of a vehicle as it enters and exits the enforcement zone - along the new stretch of Tanah Merah Coast Road in the first quarter of 2018.

Source: CNA/mz