Thursday, 9 April 2015

Use Your RoadSense: Traffic Police launches new movement to educate people on road safety

The Use Your RoadSense movement aims to facilitate understanding between different road user groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
By Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia, 7 Apr 2015

The Traffic Police on Tuesday (Apr 7) launched a new movement to educate and engage users on road safety in Singapore.

Called the Use Your RoadSense movement, the Traffic Police hopes as many conversations can be held with various road user groups to understand their road safety concerns, as well as hear their ideas on how a culture of safer road use can be developed in Singapore.

It added that there is a need to facilitate understanding between different road user groups, like pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, given rapid changes and developments on the roads.

Mr Sam Tee, Commander of the Traffic Police, said: "In the past, we have these anti-drink driving campaigns, don't speed, speeding kills campaigns. These campaigns are designed to tell people specifically not to do something, or to obey certain rules.

"This movement is different, it is about asking motorists to self-reflect, and to think of actually what are the social norms we would like to create for all road users." 

The Traffic Police hopes this movement will have a more lasting effect.

Said Mr Tee: "The Traffic Police has come to a point (where we) realise that our society is matured enough, that road safety is ultimately a shared responsibility. We hope that through this movement, we can spark off a reflection of the motorists, and hopefully, they go about thinking about what kind of good behaviour that all of us should exhibit and in return, we can have more empathy and respect for road users.

"It is about shaping motorists' behaviour, it is about people wanting to do the right thing, rather than just obeying rules and regulations."

The first of these conversations was held on Tuesday, with a dialogue session that involved a panel of experts from various fields examining how direct and indirect factors like road planning, technology and psychology affect road attitudes and behaviour.

One topic that came up was how technology can play a part in road safety, especially with a growing number of senior drivers, amid an ageing population.

Mr Sing Mong Kee, president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of Singapore, said: "The trend now is that car makers are making their cars more autonomous, meaning that they can drive on its own without any driver.

"Those without a licence, kids, elderly people, they can sit in the car and they will be transported from A to B without the need to manoeuvre, or be at the wheel to navigate through the road system."

However, one human behaviour expert has cautioned against technology becoming a crutch.

Mr Kevin Menon, regional director (Asia) at Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, said: "Humans have human failings, electronic mechanisms have their own failings as well. So what happens if the autonomous car suddenly loses control, if you have the ability to suddenly take control of it, are you able to do it?

"If you have not been doing it for a long time, you will be out of practice. And so, these are the things that we have to think about." 

Meanwhile, a slew of activities and initiatives are being planned to drive home the road safety message under the movement.

Next month, a road user profiling and assessment mobile app will be launched as part of the Singapore Road Safety Month. Partnerships with individuals and organisations to develop a better road culture in Singapore are also expected.

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