SINGAPORE: There were fewer fatalities and injuries as a result of traffic accidents in the first half of this year, the police said in a news release on Tuesday (Aug 18), adding that this is "likely" due to the COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period.
Overall, the number of traffic accidents resulting in fatalities or injuries fell by 33.1 per cent, from 3,832 in the first half of last year to 2,565 in the same period this year.
The number of people injured in traffic accidents fell by 37.3 per cent to 3,021.
Fifty people died in traffic accidents in the first half of this year, a 15.3 per cent drop from the 59 people in the same period last year.
"The decrease in road traffic accidents and fatalities is likely due to the COVID-19 circuit breaker period, when there was less traffic on the roads," said the police.
Although the road traffic situation has “generally improved”, the police said accidents involving motorcyclists and elderly pedestrians, as well as speeding by motorists, remain key concerns.
In the first half of the year, about 46 per cent of all accidents involving elderly pedestrians were attributed to jaywalking.
Motorcyclists also account for "a disproportionate number" of traffic accidents and fatalities, the police added.
Motorcyclists or pillion riders were involved in about 60 per cent of overall traffic accidents, and made up about 60 per cent of traffic fatalities in the first half of the year.
"Traffic Police will continue to work with stakeholders, such as the Singapore Road Safety Council, to encourage safer riding habits amongst motorcyclists," said the police.
MORE SPEEDING VIOLATIONS, FATAL DRINK-DRIVING ACCIDENTS
There were fewer accidents caused by running the red light, speeding and drink-driving.
However, the number of speeding violations went up, as with cases of drink-driving accidents resulting in fatalities.
The number of speeding violations in the first half of 2020 increased by 5.2 per cent to 94,359 compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, there were six drink-driving accidents resulting in deaths, a 50 per cent increase from the four cases in the same period last year.
Since last November, those found guilty of irresponsible driving offences face heavier jail terms and fines under amendments to the Road Traffic Act.
First-time offenders caught drink-driving face up to 12 months’ jail, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both.
Repeat offenders face up to two years’ jail, a fine of up to S$20,000, or both.
The Traffic Police said they will continue with strong enforcement efforts and will not hesitate to take action against errant road users.
"Traffic Police will continue with its strong enforcement efforts and will not hesitate to take action against errant road users," said the police.
RAISING AWARENESS OF ROAD SAFETY
Given the COVID-19 situation, the police said they have turned to online platforms to raise awareness of road safety.
For instance, videos were put up on the Use Your RoadSense Facebook page to educate road users on safety tips and traffic hotspots.
The Traffic Police and the Singapore Road Safety Council will also organise a road safety online campaign from the end of August.
The Singapore Ride Safe online campaign targeted at motorcyclists will be held later this year, with the theme Be Safe For Your Loved Ones.