SINGAPORE – Fewer people died in road accidents last year, compared with 2016, even as more elderly pedestrians who jaywalked got into accidents.
Last year, 122 people died in road accidents, a fall from the 141 deaths in 2016. This translates to a fatality rate of 2.17 per 100,000 people.
It is the lowest rate since 1981, when the police started tracking the death rate, according to figures released on Wednesday (Feb 7) by the Traffic Police.
The improvements are encouraging, said Traffic Police commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner Sam Tee. His unit will continue to educate people on the dangers of jaywalking, he added.
Last year, half of all senior citizens who died in traffic accidents were crossing the road illegally.
The number of accidents involving elderly pedestrians who jaywalked rose to 101 last year, up from 82 in 2016.
A spokesman for the Traffic Police said motorists should slow down and keep a lookout for elderly pedestrians even when they have the right of way.
Meanwhile, senior citizens should also use pedestrian crossings and look out for oncoming vehicles at all times, he added.
Besides elderly pedestrians, motorcyclists are another area of concern.
At least one motorcyclist was involved in every other traffic accident last year. And for every 25 road users who died, nine were motorcyclists.
While the number of fatal and injurious accidents involving motorcyclists decreased last year, their numbers are still over-represented in the statistics, the spokesman said.
“Every accident or death is one too many, and more can be done to prevent tragedies on our roads,” he added.
Last year, the number of accidents where someone was injured fell 7 per cent to 7,724 – a result of a fall in the number of accidents involving speeding, the running of red lights and drink driving.
In a bid to further lower accident and fatality rates, learner motorists will have to undergo simulation training from 2019 to better prepare themselves for road emergencies.
The training will allow learner motorists to practise defensive driving or riding in a safe and controlled environment.
A trial for simulation training started this month at ComfortDelGro Driving Centre in Ubi.