Show-and-tell way to road safety for elderly

SINGAPORE - It is important that senior citizens change their mindsets as pedestrians to keep abreast of today's road conditions, said Mr Bernard Tay, chairman of Singapore Road Safety Council, yesterday.

He said: "In the old days, there were not so many cars, but now there are so many more cars, and people are so impatient."

He was speaking to reporters before the start of the Road Safety Concert for the Golden Age, held at Republic Polytechnic, yesterday.

The gig was organised by the Traffic Police Department and the Singapore Road Safety Council in conjunction with Singapore Road Safety Month 2013. It saw a turnout of about 1,000 senior citizens, mobilised by the People's Association.

Using songs and skits, performed in different languages by local television and radio artists such as Marcus Chin, Yati and Poobalan, the concert was designed to deliver messages and lessons to senior citizens on how to be safe pedestrians.

In his speech, Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, urged senior citizens to take up their "individual responsibility for road safety".

"Sometimes we forget that our eyesight and reaction may not be as good as they used to be," he said.

He stressed that motorists may not always be keeping a lookout for pedestrians.

He noted that out of 44 pedestrians killed on the roads last year, 23 - or slightly more than half - were aged 60 and above.

This is a slight drop from 2011. That year, 26 out of the 49 pedestrian fatalities were elderly people, according to the Traffic Police. The number of elderly jaywalkers killed last year was 12 out of 64 involved in accidents. In 2011, 12 out of 63 elderly jaywalkers died. The total number of summonses issued for jaywalking last year fell to 6,816 from 7,840 in 2011.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Soh Wan Khuan, commanding officer of the Traffic Police's road-safety branch, stressed the need to continuously "inculcate good practices".

Besides the concert, which will be recorded and distributed to senior-citizen-group partners islandwide, there will be more road-safety activities to reach out to senior citizens, such as talks and road shows, said DSP Soh.

Mr Tay said: "Training lasts a lifetime. They help inculcate habits you'll never forget."


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