Beware: Digital speed traps ahead

Beware: Digital speed traps ahead

SINGAPORE - Digital red-light cameras have made drivers more wary of running a light, and now the Traffic Police are hoping their new digital speed traps will have the same effect.

Last year, 120 digital red-light cameras were installed at traffic junctions resulting in 38,977 drivers caught, more than double the 18,796 caught in 2013.

Thirty more cameras will be put up by the end of September.

The Traffic Police are taking the same approach with the scourge of speeding, an area of concern it flagged yesterday in its annual release of statistics.

It will install 20 digital speed traps, which transmit wirelessly and do not rely on film, at 11 locations starting from March till the end of the year.

Mr Bernard Tay, chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council, said: "The new measures will deter motorists who are tempted to flout safety rules whenever they are in a hurry."

The new cameras will be painted in bright orange and have reflective strips. Eight, such as one along Loyang Avenue, are in new locations. "Speeding continues to be one of the very bad habits of our motorists," said Traffic Police Commander Sam Tee.

Last year, 278,545 drivers were caught speeding, an increase of 6.5 per cent from the 261,540 the year before. The number of fatal accidents involving speeding also increased by three to 42 last year.

But while road fatalities decreased from 160 to 154 last year, another concern is the spike in the elderly pedestrians among them, from 17 in 2013 to 25 last year.

Accidents involving elderly pedestrians happened because motorists did not notice them or failed to give way when turning.

Assistant Commissioner Tee said the Traffic Police were working with other stakeholders to address this, and would release details later.

Meanwhile, the number of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles increased by one to 44, but overall, the number of such accidents decreased, from 816 in 2013 to 809 last year.

Fewer were also drinking and driving despite greater enforcement efforts, with 2,954 caught last year from 3,019 in 2013.

The Traffic Police also revealed that injury accident statistics were under-reported from 2009 to 2013. For instance, in 2013, there were 7,598 injury accidents, not 6,277 as previously reported.

The discrepancies were discovered at an internal review in March last year and had occurred because of "inconsistencies in the data capture". The Traffic Police said they had not affected any investigations and the numbers have since been rectified.

dansonc@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Janary 30, 2015.
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