Number of speeding incidents along Tanjong Pagar Road 'not high': Faishal Ibrahim

Offerings left at the site of the Tanjong Pagar Road car crash on 13 February that claimed the lives of five people. (PHOTO: Wan Ting Koh / Yahoo News Singapore)
Offerings left at the site of the Tanjong Pagar Road car crash on 13 February that claimed the lives of five people. (PHOTO: Wan Ting Koh / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The number of speeding incidents along Tanjong Pagar Road is "not high", said Minister of State for Home Affairs Faishal Ibrahim in Parliament on Monday (1 March).

"Indeed, (the Traffic Police) have received feedback of speeding along Tanjong Pagar Road but the numbers are not high," he said while responding to queries by Tanjong Pagar GRC Member of Parliament Joan Pereira. Dr Faishal did not provide any specific figures.

In relation to last month's fatal Tanjong Pagar car crash that led to the deaths of five people, Pereira had asked if the authorities were aware of "numerous" public complaints regarding speeding in the area. She also asked what actions the Traffic Police (TP) and Ministry of Home Affairs have taken in response to such feedback.

Dr Faishal noted that while Tanjong Pagar is not known to be a speeding-prone area, the TP conducts frequent patrols and roadblocks in the vicinity to deter and detect drink driving as well as speeding.

He also stated that there are currently 41 fixed and mobile speed cameras set up around Singapore, as well as one average speed camera system deployed along Tanah Merah Coast Road.

Fighting illegal modifications

On whether the car driven in the Tanjong Pagar crash had been illegally modified, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said that the police were still investigating the case and that it was too early to comment.

However, she emphasised that the Road Traffic Act (RTA) was updated in 2017 to come down harder on those who illegally modify their vehicles. First-time offenders now face a fine of up to $5,000 and a jail term of up to three months, with the penalties doubled for repeat offenders.

Repeat offenders also face more frequent mandatory vehicle inspections. If they are found to have tampered with their vehicles' engines, the vehicles will also be deregistered.

On workshops that provide illegal modifications, Dr Khor noted the challenge of establishing the workshops' culpability in such offences.

"For instance, we need the vehicle owners to identify the workshops. And then for them to agree to be prosecution witnesses. So far, the vehicle owners we have interviewed have not been cooperative," she said, adding that the Land Transport Authority is looking at other measures to gather evidence against errant workshops.

Overall, the stricter penalties and regular inspection and enforcement efforts have helped reduce the number of illegal modification offences from about 1,800 per month in 2015 to around 550 per month in 2020, said Dr Khor.

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