SINGAPORE: Most road users thought positively of themselves when asked to rate their level of safety and graciousness. But when it comes to the behaviour of others, those surveyed thought negatively of them.
This was among the findings of a nationwide study conducted by the Traffic Police. It involved 1,000 respondents from various groups such as car drivers, cyclists and personal mobility device (PMD) users, taxi drivers, elderly pedestrians and parents of young children.
The findings, released on Saturday (Jul 6), showed that for car drivers, for instance, seven in 10 said they avoid tailgating, while eight in 10 said they indicate their signals early.
However, only three in 10 car drivers felt others did the same.
Similarly, six in 10 motorcyclists said they avoid weaving in and out of moving traffic, but only three in 10 felt the same of others.
For PMD users, nine in 10 felt that they look out for others on shared pavements. Only two in 10 perceived the same of other PMD users.
"This result reflects that 'it’s not me, it’s them' mentality among our road users," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs Amrin Amin.
"Such a mentality can lead to complacency, where road users feel that they have already done their part to contribute to safer roads and that there is nothing else they can do."
Mr Amrin was speaking at the RoadSense Carnival at Ngee Ann City, launched in conjunction with the Singapore Road Safety Month.
He pointed out some common behaviour observed on Singapore's roads. These include speeding up to prevent a driver from switching lanes, speeding up at traffic junctions when the lights are about to turn red and changing lanes abruptly to squeeze into slip-roads at the last minute.
"So these are some of the uniquely Singapore behaviours that we have found quite common on our roads," Mr Amrin said.
"I’m sure you can relate to these examples and what these inconsiderate behaviours does is that it can be irritating, but it can be very dangerous too," he added.
"That is something that we are very concerned about because if we do not correct these behaviours, if we do not point these things out, it is a matter of time before accidents happen and someone gets hurt."
The Traffic Police survey also showed that many felt it was the responsibility of others to make roads safer.
"Those surveyed also felt that people tend to assume that other people will take care of their safety," said Mr Amrin.
"A good example would be pedestrians who are crossing the roads with their eyes fixed on their mobile devices, without paying any attention to the traffic from the left or right."
Overall, only four in 10 people felt safe on the roads of Singapore, the survey showed.
MORE RED LIGHT CAMERAS TO BE INSTALLED
In his speech, Mr Amrin also highlighted the steps taken to improve road safety like recent amendments to the Road Traffic Act that will see irresponsible drivers getting harsher penalties.
He added that 12 more digital traffic red light cameras will be installed at different traffic hotspot locations this year.
"They will come with prominent signages and bright paint work so that you know that these cameras are there and will slow down accordingly. The idea is not to let your photos be taken, but actually to change your behavior such that you won’t get caught," he said.
Infrastructural changes like amendments to right turn junctions will also be introduced to about 1,000 traffic light junctions by 2023, Mr Amrin said.
In terms of public education, the Singapore Road Safety Council is ramping up efforts to raise awareness of safe and gracious behaviour on the roads.
The council will introduce comic strips on the importance of using designated crossings such as zebra crossings, overhead bridges and traffic signals.
"The findings from the study have shown that there is much more that we can do, each and every one of us, can do and needs to do, to promote a culture of graciousness among our road users," said Mr Amrin.
"At the end of the day, it starts with us."