Aug 02, 2013

    Public can play a part in traffic enforcement

    THE number of reckless or dangerous driving offences recorded by Traffic Police was down in the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year.

    According to statistics provided by the Singapore Police Force, 105 such offences were recorded between January and June, down from 128 in the same period last year.

    Last year, 243 reckless or dangerous driving offences were recorded. It was a three-year high. In 2011, there were 163 offences, and 199 in the preceding year.

    Reckless or dangerous driving came into focus this week after a video depicting a near-collision between two speeding cars in the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway tunnel was posted on YouTube last Saturday.

    The footage, believed to have been shot from another vehicle last Wednesday, has since gone viral, attracting more than 480,000 views and over 370 comments.

    On Monday, the police said in a Facebook post that they have hauled up the drivers of the two cars for investigations.

    Under the Road Traffic Act, motorists convicted of reckless or dangerous driving can be fined up to $3,000, or jailed up to 12 months, or both.

    Criminal lawyer Amolat Singh said such cases typically involve instances of "extensive bad driving". These include racing with others, weaving in and out of traffic, or cutting into the paths of other vehicles.

    Lawyer Chia Boon Teck said that in the legal context, prosecutors in reckless-driving cases often focus on "drivers' attitude and state of mind".

    He said: "(Prosecuting a) dangerous driving (case) involves the court looking at factors such as the quality of the driving, weather conditions and the experience of the driver."

    Associate Professor Chin Hoong Choor, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore, said that the higher numbers of offences recorded in the past years could be due to stricter enforcement.

    In 2011, the Traffic Police digitised their enforcement cameras so that summonses could be issued more quickly. In May last year, they said they would ramp up enforcement.

    Prof Chin said that public input can help enforcement. "The video clip is an example of how the public can raise awareness on safety and, indirectly, stop would-be violators from behaving badly."