Speedy red-light surprise

He expected the shoot to take all day when he was asked last year to film a segment on new roadside cameras used to catch errant motorists.

To Superintendent (Supt) Julius Lim's surprise, he had to stand at Gambas Avenue in Sembawang for only a few minutes before several heavy vehicles were captured beating the red light.

The current English Crimewatch presenter said: "They broke the law even after the crew had set up signs saying that Crimewatch filming was in progress. We had our shot in just one take.

"This incident reminds me how important it is for the police to be aggressive in our outreach efforts."

Supt Lim, 31, who is married with two young daughters, joined the Singapore Police Force in 2004.

The senior assistant director of the Ministry of Home Affairs' joint operations group started hosting Crimewatch seven years later.

Since then, he has become a popular public figure. Supt Lim told The New Paper that in 2014, he was even recognised by a Myanmar national waiter in Kuala Lumpur.

With a smile, he said: "The waiter had never been to Singapore, but he found out about Crimewatch after his friend liked its Facebook page.

"The waiter decided to visit the page and soon became a Crimewatch fan."

Supt Lim and his family now make it a point to stay at home on the last Sunday of every month to watch Crimewatch.

He said: "My then-fiancee - now wife - and I had spent many date nights watching the programme together. We now watch it with our girls, and they are always excited to see their papa on TV."

Calm at Bukit Batok hot spot

The New Paper did its own traffic-light test and found that things have improved.

Over at Bukit Batok East Avenue 3 by Bukit Batok Street 21 - one of the hot spots for red-light running cases - yesterday, no drivers was seen beating the red light during the peak hour of 7am to 8am.

Statistics released by the Singapore Police Force in February also showed a drop. 

Mr Gopinath Menon, a transport engineering consultant, told The New Paper: "There has been a lot of publicity, education and enforcement on running red lights. Errant drivers are worried that they will get caught."

Road-safety expert Gerard Pereira, operations manager of the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, said that apart from road-safety education, traffic cameras also played a part.

For failing to conform to traffic-light signals, drivers will be penalised with 12 demerit points and a fine ($200 for light vehicles and $230 for heavy vehicles).

Those who beat the red light twice within 24 months will have their licences suspended.


This article was first published on July 30, 2016.
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