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Committee to Look Into NMT Safety in Singapore

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1259654/1/.html

An inter-agency committee will be set up to review safety measures on the road for pedestrians and cyclists.

Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who will be chairing the committee, said an action plan will be developed for the next five years.

On pedestrian safety, the committee will pay special attention to the needs of the elderly and school children.

This include possibly reducing speed limits around schools and providing additional infrastructure such as speed humps, flashing LED lights and more signage.

Road safety education will also be reviewed, with the aim of customising the safety message for different groups of road users.

Several MPs had spoken on recent accidents involving children – including one in Tampines where two brothers were hit and killed by a cement truck.

“The tragic incident in Tampines in January would not have been so devastating if the vehicle involved were not a cement mixer. LTA (Land Transport Authority) currently forbids cement trucks to go on the expressway. Can heavy vehicles be restricted near school zones and heavy pedestrian areas too?” asked MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal replied: “LTA works with agencies and contractors to try to ensure that heavy vehicles accessing construction sites avoid areas with high pedestrian activity and schools. However, this may not always be possible, depending on the location of the construction site. In all cases, clear warning signs are put up around construction sites to alert road users of the movement of heavy vehicles.

“LTA is working with Mr Baey to review the routes taken by heavy vehicles in Tampines. The committee will review Mr Baey’s other suggestions for a penalty system for employers and hirers of drivers of heavy vehicles, and installing video recorders in all heavy vehicles.”

More will also be done to better protect cyclists.

Existing signs alerting motorists to the presence of sports cyclists along popular training routes will be put up by the middle of the year. These popular routes include Tanjong Rhu and Yishun.

Another initiative is to paint new markings at zebra crossings well-used by cyclists.

The new markings will undergo trials at three locations around Tampines, starting Wednesday.

Bicycle crossings for cyclists will also be built where space permits such as Tampines and Sembawang.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal said the government will prioritise resources to build more off-road cycling paths.

Another 90 more kilometres of cycling paths will be developed to several more HDB towns, bringing the total network to some 210 kilometres to more than half of all HDB towns by 2020.

Where possible, existing Park Connectors will be linked to nearby MRT stations so that cyclists need not go on the road.

LTA is also studying the feasibility of building cycling paths at major industrial estates so that workers in the estates have the option of cycling within the estate and to and from the nearest MRT station.

600 more bicycle racks will be built at 12 more MRT stations by the third quarter of next year.

LTA is also planning a pilot bicycle-sharing scheme at the Jurong Lake District.

“Currently, the plan is to conduct the pilot at the Jurong Lake District, which will have a comprehensive network of cycling paths by end-2015, and a mix of different land uses that will provide strong demand for the shared bicycles throughout the day. We will request proposals from the industry in the coming months. We will also consider piloting bicycle sharing in one of the cycling towns if there is interest from the community,” said Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal.

He also added Singapore has a fairly good track record in road safety compared to other countries.

Last year, the road fatality rate was 3.2 per 100,000 persons, an improvement from 3.8 in 2011.

However, additional measures will be put in place to enhance safety at locations with a high occurrence of accidents under the “Black Spot Programme”.

They include advance warning lights to alert motorists to stop.

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Categorised in: News, News

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