The streets of Sentosa are a little safer now for peacocks and picnickers. Speed cameras installed on the resort island two years ago have begun to influence driving behaviour. According to Sentosa Leisure Group (SLG), the number of summonses for speeding on Sentosa has dropped by 28 per cent in the first seven months of this year to 2,245. For the same period last year, 3,107 summonses were issued, with offenders fined between $75 and $100.
The drop came despite a sharp rise in visitors to the island after Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) opened in 2010. Mr David Goh, senior divisional director of SLG subsidiary Sentosa Leisure Management, said there were 20.5 million visitors last year - triple the number in 2009. He pointed out that over the last three years, a number of other measures were put in place to enhance road safety.
These include installing additional traffic signs, road humps and speed-regulating strips. Real-time speed indicators, which flash the speed of an approaching vehicle to remind drivers to keep within limits, were also put up.
"These efforts are essential for the safety of motorists as well as the island's many pedestrians and its diverse wildlife, including squirrels and peacock families that regularly cross the roads," Mr Goh said.
Sentosa also has a longstanding ban on motorcycles. This was "to further preserve the island's charm and tranquillity", he explained, although there are no bans on high-powered cars with loud exhausts. The speed limit on the island is 40kmh, but on some two-lane stretches - such as those leading to and from Sentosa Cove - it is 50 kmh. To help enforce these limits, four speed cameras are used. Two of them are at fixed locations, while the other two are rotated from spot to spot across the island.
More cameras may be installed in future, as the number of visitors grow and when new attractions are added. Already, there are plans for a new hotel, which will join the 12 in operation today.
Sentosa Leisure Group noted that even as the number of visitors goes up, the statutory board has been able to keep a lid on the number of vehicles on the road. A pedestrian boardwalk has been built, while capacity of the island monorail system will be expanded.
An intra-island cable car system is also in the works. When completed in 2015, it will give visitors another option besides the monorail and fleet of 40 to 50 shuttle buses. Those who still choose to drive have to pay admission charges, which range from $2 to $7 for each car. With all these measures, Mr Goh said the number of vehicles entering Sentosa proper and excluding those headed for RWS has fallen to 2.5 million last year, from 2.7 million in 2011.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.