There Have Been More Fatal Accidents in S’pore, With Motorcyclists & Pillion Riders Accounting for Half of Them


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Hearing about traffic accidents in the news isn’t uncommon.

However, the increase in fatal accidents is a worrying trend.

On 20 February, the Traffic Police (TP) released its annual statistics report, and the numbers do not look good.

If you’re a road user, you should read on.

Highest Fatalities Figure Since 2016

In 2023, fatal accidents increased, killing 136 people.

Image: Traffic Police

This is a 25.9% jump from the 108 deaths seen in 2022.

Moreover, it is the highest fatalities figure since 2016, which saw 141 deaths from traffic accidents. 

This figure is also an increase from the pre-COVID-19 level of fatalities in 2019, which saw 118 deaths.

According to the report, the number of fatal accidents that involve speeding, drink-driving, and running the red light have increased.

37 people died from accidents caused by speeding in 2023, an 85% increase from the 20 fatalities in 2022.

Fatal drink-driving accidents rose from ten in 2022 to 11 in 2023.

Meanwhile, the number of fatal accidents caused by running the red light increased from three in 2022 to eight in 2023.

Breakdown of Fatalities

Motorcyclists and pillion riders accounted for half of the road fatalities in 2023.

Image: Traffic Police

Elderly pedestrians made up nearly 20% of the statistic.

The increase in road fatalities is undoubtedly worrying, a sentiment echoed by TP commander and Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) of Police Daniel Tan.

In light of the alarming trend, he said, “TP is going to enhance our enforcement methods. We will be rolling out the speed enforcement function in our red-light cameras, starting from next quarter. We will come down hard on road users who blatantly disregard the law.”


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Non-fatal Traffic Accidents

According to TP, the significant increase in accidents in 2023 was primarily caused by motorists failing to keep a proper lookout, maintain proper vehicular control, or change lanes carefully.

While TP did not provide a breakdown of these offences, the statistics show that “there are many motorists who have irresponsible driving behaviours”.

In 2023, non-fatal drink-driving accidents slightly increased from 175 in 2022 to 180 in 2023.

Meanwhile, there was a decrease in cases of motorists running the red light in 2023.

Violations fell from 44,688 in 2022 to 31,815 in 2023, a whopping 28.8% difference.


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There were also fewer speeding violations detected by traffic enforcement cameras in 2023.

In 2023, 52,237 violations were detected, compared to 73,152 in 2022.

However, the number of such violations detected by other police enforcement operations rose by 22% to 63,468.

There were 52,016 cases of such violations in 2022.

TP’s Statement on Speeding in Singapore

The decrease in speeding violations detected by traffic enforcement cameras prompted TP to comment, “This shows that speed cameras are effective in deterring speeding and that motorists choose to speed at locations where they think no one is watching.”

In response, TP said it will progressively activate the speed enforcement function in red-light cameras nationwide.


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Notably, red-light cameras have a distinct orange and white colour.

They also have warning signs that indicate the speed limit for the road.

Thus, TP hopes this will deter motorists from speeding in areas without static speed cameras.

It added that activating the speed enforcement function will be primarily done in more accident or violation-prone locations.

Other Measures TP Plans to Implement

To tackle the worrying road trends, TP will increase the fines and demerit points for certain traffic offences.


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More details will be announced later in 2024.

Currently, the penalty for running a red light is 12 demerit points.

Furthermore, motorists of light vehicles will be handed a composite fine of $400, while motorists of heavy vehicles will be given a composite fine of $500.

Offenders convicted of drink-driving can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to a year.

TP will also launch a road safety campaign encouraging people to be responsible road users in the second half of 2024.

The campaign will target all road users, particularly vulnerable road user groups.

Fatal Road Accidents Have Already Claimed Two Young Lives This Year

Although the year is barely two months in, two young lives were lost in two separate road accidents in January alone.

On 23 January, four-year-old Zara Mei Orlic was walking to her River Valley home after preschool with her two-year-old sister and their domestic helper, Lily.


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A car came around the street corner and knocked her down.

Speaking to The Straits Times, her father, Dr Nick Orlic, said that Lily had checked the road and gave Zara the green light to cross it.

However, he noted that the street, which usually does not see much traffic, has a rampant problem of illegal parking and speeding cars.

On 30 January, another fatal accident occurred in Taman Jurong.

A 12-year-old girl was hit by a van just minutes away from two schools.

The 23-year-old van driver has since been arrested.

Ground Assessments are Done at Accident Hot Spots

In a joint statement on 19 February, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TP said, “When an accident occurs, LTA will conduct studies to ascertain if more engineering measures are needed at the accident location to improve road safety.”

The statement came after members of the public raised questions about the safety features at the accident sites in Taman Jurong and River Valley Road.

The agencies added that TP will conduct ground assessments to determine the most appropriate action.

Furthermore, LTA may implement different safety features, depending on the location.

According to the statement, LTA considers “pedestrian volumes, speed of vehicles, visibility for drivers, connectivity to key amenities and transport nodes, and the demographic profile of residents in the vicinity” when implementing features. 

For instance, designated areas like school zones and Silver Zones have lower speed limits.

The agencies urged motorists to keep within speed limits, check their blind spots and maintain a proper lookout for vulnerable road users.

They also reminded pedestrians to avoid crossing the road in front, between stationary vehicles, or at road bends.

Furthermore, parents and caregivers should hold the hands of their children when near a road or when crossing one.