Fatal Tampines accident's traffic junction design based on 'international safety standards'

Such standards include sufficient line of sight for road users to see each other clearly and appropriate kerbs, marking etc.

Julia Yee | May 07, 2024, 03:30 PM



On Apr. 22, 2024, an accident involving six vehicles at Tampines resulted in the death of two females, aged 17 and 57.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Members of Parliament (MPs) sought answers from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) at a parliament sitting on May 7.

Their questions touched on how road safety awareness can be improved and how future accidents might be avoided.

Addressing the concerns, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor began by expressing her deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the Tampines accident.

She then went on to assure Singaporeans that road safety "is and will continue to be a priority" for the MOT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

She said that LTA's approach to road safety is three-pronged: adhering to international safety requirements, developing road safety programmes, and leveraging data from the police and public.

Tampines junction adheres "international safety standards"

Speaking on the first point, Khor pointed to the location of the Tampines accident.

She stated that the junction where the accident occurred —  along Tampines Avenue 1 and Tampines Avenue 4 — was designed "in accordance with international safety standards".

Such standards include sufficient line of sight for road users to see each other clearly and appropriate kerbs, lane, and arrow markings installed conspicuously.

Road design aside, Khor also brought up LTA's efforts to roll out road safety programmes.

Zones for students and elderly

Since 2018, LTA has replaced discretionary right turns with Red-Amber-Green (RAG arrows) at over 1,200 traffic junctions.

Junctions with RAG arrows have shown a 40 per cent reduction in traffic accidents, Khor reported.

As of 2023, 371 School Zones and 40 Silver Zones have also been created in areas with more students and senior residents, respectively.

School Zones include crossing facilities, coloured pavements, and traffic signs and markings.

The speed limit has also been lowered to 40km/h at primary schools.

Meanwhile, Silver Zones have reduced speed limits, narrower and meandering lanes, road markings, additional crossings, and speed humps.

Khor said this has reduced the accident rate among seniors within the zones by about 80 per cent.

Longer crossing times

Another effort to accommodate elderly pedestrians is the Friendly Streets initiative, which seeks to make journeys to key amenities in neighbourhoods "safer, more convenient, and comfortable".

These will include more frequent green light activations and longer crossing times.

"We started with 5 pilot sites in 2023 and will begin engagements on a further 10 sites in 2024, with the aim of bringing Friendly Streets to all towns by 2030," Khor informed.

She also shared that LTA consults traffic accident reports and public feedback to design and implement "localised road safety enhancements."

Annually, she said, LTA introduces about 1,000 such enhancements, including speed humps and 3D road markings.

Vehicle checks

Beyond road design and infrastructure, Khor shared that LTA also does vehicle checks.

Enforcement will be carried out against errant vehicles.

"From 2021 to 2023, on average each year, LTA issued about 7,000 notices for common illegal modification offences, conducted around 1,600 additional inspections, and charged more than five workshops for violations," Khor supplied.

The penalties for illegally modified vehicles have also increased.

While the government is working to improve road safety conditions, Khor stressed that everyone should shoulder this responsibility.

"A critical factor, besides safe roads and safe vehicles, is safe motorists," she concluded.

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Top images via SgRoad/Telegram and MCI