Monday, June 1, 2009

Road users’ responsibility, too

Again, something that involves the elderly… well, not only the elderly, but the majority of fatalities are from the elderly group. But it means that whatever age, road safety should be observed at all times (jaywalking or not). Accidents are accidents, and they happen by accident (?!)



Letter from DSP Paul Tay

Assistant Director, Media Relations

Public Affairs Department

Singapore Police Force

THE police share Mr Chen Khin Wee's concerns ("Jaywalking Deaths: Road to a solution", May 14) and would like to take the opportunity to share some of our outreach efforts on road safety in this aspect.

To address the problem of jaywalking at its root, the Traffic Police has been reaching out and educating road users on the importance of abiding by road traffic rules and the dangers of jaywalking. Campaigns were tailored to the different age groups and the public engaged via the media, road safety campaigns and talks.

Out of the 62 pedestrian fatalities in 2008, 45 per cent (28) were people above 60 years of age. Among these elderly pedestrians who died, 22 were jaywalkers who crossed at pedestrian crossings while the red man was lit or failed to use pedestrian crossings altogether. Of the 10 pedestrians who lost their lives on the roads in the first quarter of this year, two were elderly jaywalkers.

Traffic Police has worked with organisations like Singapore Action Group of Elders and the various grassroots organisations to reach out to senior citizens. For instance, senior citizens are encouraged to learn about road safety through their participation in traffic games in a simulated traffic environment at the Road Safety Community Park. Understanding the elderly's love for song and entertainment, Traffic Police has also been releasing road safety videos with songs infused with safety tips to senior citizens.

In January, together with Elias Community Centre, Traffic Police launched another programme with talks and educational materials specially tailored for elderly pedestrians.

To complement these educational efforts, the Traffic Police has also been taking regular enforcement action against jaywalkers. About 14,400 summonses were issued to jaywalkers in the past two years. Pedestrians who jaywalk commit an offence that entails a composition amount of $20. If charged and convicted in court, the pedestrian is liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, the offender faces a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

While Traffic Police will continue to enforce and educate, motorists and pedestrians should also do their part. Together, we can prevent unnecessary loss of lives on the roads.

From, Voices – Monday, 01-Jun-2009; see the source article here.

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