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    Jul 16, 2015

    12% dip in deaths on the roads

    THE numbers of road deaths and traffic violations are down markedly, according to the latest mid-year statistics from Traffic Police.

    In particular, the number of deaths on the roads has dropped to 78 in the first six months of this year, from 89 in the same period last year.

    It is a decrease of more than 12 per cent, noted the Traffic Police, which revealed the numbers at a media conference yesterday.

    Also down is the number of drivers caught for drink driving. There were 1,258 caught in the first half of this year, while 1,495 were nabbed in the same period last year - a drop of almost 16 per cent.

    New digital speed traps and red-light cameras also look to be effective.

    The average number of motorists caught by each digital red-light camera for running the red light each month has dropped from 115 in March last year, when digital versions of the cameras were first installed, to only 19 last month.

    Digital speed traps have also proven to be effective.

    An average of 31 speeding motorists were caught by each camera every day in March this year, compared to only 12 each day last month.

    "The roads were generally safer in the first half of this year," said Traffic Police chief Sam Tee.

    He added that the statistics were an encouraging sign that motorists were doing their part to keep the roads safe for everyone.

    That said, accident-related injuries have registered a slight uptick. There were 3,733 in the first half of last year.

    From January to June this year, there were 3,938, an increase of 205 or 5.5 per cent.

    The Traffic Police said the rise could be due to accidents involving motorcyclists.

    The number of riders injured on the roads rose about 6 per cent to 2,078, in the first half of this year.

    They were at fault in about 40 per cent of motorcycle accidents.

    Assistant Commissioner (AC) Tee said: "Unlike other motorists, bikers are not protected by the shell of their vehicles so they tend to be injured more."

    He added that the Traffic Police will soon roll out initiatives targeted at the more than 500,000 foreign and local motorcyclists here.

    Another perennial safety bugbear remains - the number of elderly pedestrians hurt has crept up from 81 to 85.

    AC Tee said the Traffic Police would be launching a slew of measures to boost safety.

    In September, it will start painting digital red-light cameras bright orange, and paste reflective stickers on them - similar to what has been done with digital speed traps.

    This will be done on all 240 red-light cameras by the end of next year.

    "We notice that motorists are very much alerted to visible signs on the road," said AC Tee.

    He added that the Traffic Police will also start a three-month trial in October with 2,000 cabbies from Comfort DelGro.

    These cabs would have information about red-light and speed enforcement areas available on their mobile data terminals.

    In future, the information could include areas such as school zones and traffic conditions.

    Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said: "Taxi drivers spend so many hours on the roads, their minds might be preoccupied. This information would help remind them to be careful at danger areas."