‘Green arrow’ turns for most junctions
Police arrest drivers in two fatal crashes as LTA reveals plans to do away with discretionary right turn at junctions, where feasible
The vast majority of traffic junctions with right turns will have red-amber-green arrow traffic lights in five years, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.
At these junctions, motorists must wait for the arrow to turn green before making a right turn.
There are currently 200 such junctions, but LTA said in a statement that it has a programme to introduce arrow lights at all 1,600 junctions, where feasible.
The announcement comes in the wake of three fatal accidents, which claimed five lives, recently.
Two of them involved vehicles that were hit while making a discretionary right turn.
Both drivers have been arrested for causing death by rash act, the police said yesterday.
The accidents sparked an online petition, with nearly 16,000 signatures, asking the LTA to review the discretionary right turn, in which drivers can turn right when the light is green for oncoming vehicles.
In response, LTA said it carries out regular reviews and has identified and enhanced the safety of 21 accident-prone locations since 2015.
Where installing arrow lights are not feasible, LTA said it will consider other safety measures such as turning pockets, lighted road studs, dashed pedestrian crossing lines and "Give Way to Pedestrian" signs.
In a separate statement yesterday, the police, concerned over the recent fatal accidents, advised motorists to take extra care and slow down when approaching traffic junctions.
They noted that 38 people were killed in 36 fatal accidents from Jan 1 to April 25 this year, up from the 33 fatal accidents and 34 deaths in the same period last year.
They also identified the top three causes of fatal accidents - failing to keep a proper lookout, not having proper control of a vehicle and jaywalking or crossing roads without paying attention to traffic.
Describing accidents at traffic junctions as a grave concern, the police advised drivers to give way to oncoming vehicles when making a right turn.
"At all times, motorists must always keep a proper lookout for pedestrians as well as give way to pedestrians at traffic junctions," they added.
Motorists must keep to speed limits, practise safe driving habits and passengers, including children, must always be belted.
Pedestrians, being more vulnerable in an accident, must stay alert and look out for vehicles even if they have right of way, the police added.
The person who started the petition, who wanted to be known only as Ms Gen Y, said the accidents had resonated strongly with her because they shared similarities in nature and occurred close to where she lives in Bukit Timah.
Stressing that her intentions were never to fault the authorities, Ms Gen Y, who is in her 40s and has nearly 25 years of driving experience, told TNP: "It is just a formal appeal to LTA to spend some time to determine if the rules still work, in light of their efforts to improve other aspects of drivers' experiences."
On April 19, NUS undergraduate Kathy Ong, 19, and three of her friends were injured after their taxi, driven by a 54-year-old man, collided with a car at the Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road cross junction.
She died later in National University Hospital.
On April 22, a car and a bus collided at the signalised cross junction of Jalan Anak Bukit and Jalan Jurong Kechil in Bukit Timah.
NUS graduate Jasmine Lim, 23, who was seated at the back, died after she was taken unconscious to National University Hospital.
The driver, a 24-year-old woman, and the front passenger, a 26-year-old man, were taken conscious to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
The online petition gathered about 3,000 signatures after a day.
But there was a surge of nearly 10,000 more on April 23 after a lorry went out of control, mounted a kerb and killed three pedestrians near Yio Chu Kang MRT station.
The 25-year-old lorry driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.