Monday, 13 April 2015

[Straits Times] Increase Traffic Police presence

THE Traffic Police's call to improve road safety is a good one ("Softer approach to road safety"; last Wednesday).

The 80-20 rule can be applied to road safety. It means that 80 per cent of drivers and road users are law-abiding, but 20 per cent are not.

The reason why the 20 per cent behave in an unsafe way is that they know they can get away with it, because no one is watching.

Thus, instead of focusing on dialogue, the first thing the Traffic Police should do is to increase their presence on the roads, in particular, major roads and highways.

These days, I can travel for a whole day and not see a single Traffic Police officer. It seems they appear only when there is an accident.

The mere presence of Traffic Police on the roads will greatly enhance safety, and officers will be able to have a good idea of who or what is causing bad and unsafe behaviour on the road.

For a start, increase the daily average mileage clocked by Traffic Police vehicles by 20 per cent, and monitor the behaviour of road users.

Gradually, this mileage can be increased by 10 per cent over three to six months, and behaviour monitored to see if there is further improvement.

To supplement the police presence, perhaps an "Eyes On The Roads" project could be started. Volunteers with cameras in their cars could record bad driving behaviour and submit the footage to the Traffic Police.

I am sure many drivers would be willing to help.

Tony Lim Thiam Poh