Every day, we commute. Unless you’re a hermit, there is little possibility that you can escape from being on the road.
Even though we may not actively think about it, we know that each journey bears its own risks and dangers.
The multiple high-profile traffic accidents that occurred earlier on this year serve as a reminder of what we very often take for granted—road safety.
With a fall in the official numbers for traffic accidents in the past few years, we would expect a rise in confidence in the safety of our roads.
However, this is not the case.
Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) to Blame
Over the last few years, we see more and more Singaporeans opting for alternative commuting vehicles such as electric scooters and bicycles to commute. This is all well and good but the growing number of non-drivers on the road is causing much distress on the road.
Their concerns aren’t unfounded. Last year, there were more than 100 accidents that occurred involving users of mobility devices. Most of these accidents took place at public road junctions when users were illegally riding parallel to vehicle traffic.
Earlier in May this year, the Active Mobility Act kicked in to enhance road safety. The new law dictates where mobility devices may be used and the speed at which they can go.
So if you’re still riding a e-scooter on the road, good luck to you.
If you’re caught, you may face a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of three months. Just don’t do it.
Though you’ve got to admit that we’re still seeing lots of PMDs on the roads nowadays.
And the next reason on why we Singaporeans don’t feel safe on the road might…shock you.
Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) at Fault too
According to a survey conducted by AXA insurance, nearly 50 per cent of driver respondents felt that ride-hailing services made the roads more dangerous. Many also blamed such services for road accidents.
AXA argued that these perceptions are justifiable, as 9 out of 10 PHV drivers admitted to at least one illegal behavior on the roads that could be perceived as aggressive or careless three months before the survey.
I mean, you’ve seen them looking at their phones while driving, haven’t you?
In August last year, a female PHV driver was sentenced to four weeks of jail after inching her car forward against a man. After colliding her vehicle with the man’s car, the woman refused to stay for the police. When the man tried to stop her by standing in front of her car, the female driver inched her car forward until her right tyre went over the man’s shoe.
Of course, this is an extreme example but you get the gist.
However, for some reason, a study showed that Singaporeans think PHV drivers are a little safer than taxi drivers. That’s really up for debate!
What We Can Do
One of my favorite quotes: “Every problem has a solution. Sometimes it just takes a long time to find the solution—even if it’s right in front of your nose.”
For drivers out there who have gotten indifferent to others on the road, it’s time to exercise some road etiquette.
Simply slow down when you’re driving through estates with more elders and keep a closer lookout for pedestrians. Drive within your speed limits (need I say more) and come to a complete stop at zebra crossings!
As for non-drivers, don’t jaywalk! That moment of convenience may bring you a lifetime of regret if you were to get into an accident.
For all you know, we might have a different survey result next year.
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