Have right of way? Be careful still

SINGAPORE - The onus is on motorists to carry out proper safety checks before moving off at road junctions, even if the traffic lights are in their favour.

This is what transport experts said following a crash between a motorcycle and a car at a junction in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 last Saturday night.

The incident was captured on the camera of another vehicle. The video clip was posted on Facebook late last Saturday night. It showed a motorcycle travelling straight into the path of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was making a right turn at the cross-junction.

In the 26-second clip, the motorcycle slammed into the side of the SUV. The rider and pillion were flung into the air.

As the SUV moved out of the camera's frame, it was unclear if the driver went to the riders' aid.

Police said the pair were taken conscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and investigations are ongoing.

The video clip has since been shared more than 650 times on Facebook.

Some junctions in Singapore are signalised, meaning motorists are allowed to turn only on a green arrow. But at others, motorists can rely on their judgment, even when the green arrow is not lit. In such instances, motorists would not only have to look out for oncoming traffic, but also pedestrians who might be crossing the road.

Public Transport Council chairman Gerard Ee said the motorist had probably estimated the speed of the motorcycle and thought that he or she could pass it.

He told My Paper: "At the same time, the motorcyclist should have been more observant and not driven straight blindly, assuming that he had the right of way."

Mr Ang Hin Kee, a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said: "You have to be aware of how other road users behave. Some might be careless or reckless, so you cannot be complacent."

Netizens who watched the video accused the SUV's driver of driving recklessly. Undergraduate Nicholas Lu, 23, told My Paper: "This is a prime example of a dangerous driving habit.

"The driver was anxious for pedestrians on the other side to clear the lane so that he could speed off, and failed to consider oncoming traffic."

However, logistics executive Wee Chi Wei, 58, said that the motorcyclist could have slowed down to avoid the accident. He said: "The car had clearly crossed over to the other side of the road. The motorcyclist should have seen it and should have had enough time to slow down".