430 accidents per year at junctions with discretionary turns; installation of new signals delayed: Iswaran

SINGAPORE — For the past five years, there were around 430 accidents at traffic junctions with discretionary turns every year, Transport Minister S Iswaran said on Tuesday (Sept 14).

In a written response to a parliamentary question filed by Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim, Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency, Mr Iswaran said that motorcyclists were involved in around 40 per cent of these incidents. 

Pedestrians made up a quarter, while cyclists and personal mobility aid devices were involved in 7 and 0.5 per cent of such accidents respectively, said Mr Iswaran.

He did not state how many incidents involve cars and other forms of transportation.

Mr Zhulkarnain had queried him about the number of such accidents at such junctions, which allow motorists to make right turns without the need to display turning signals when there is no opposing traffic or pedestrians crossing the road.

MORE RED-AMBER-GREEN SIGNALS BY 2024

Mr Iswaran added that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been progressively introducing red-amber-green signals for turns at locations where there might be safety concerns.

To date, there are red-amber-green signals in more than 600 junctions costing over S$200 million. 

LTA targets to introduce the signals at 1,200 junctions by 2024, he said.

This is a slight delay from the 2023 timeline previously announced by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng last year.

At junctions with these new signals, discretionary turns are not allowed even when there is no opposing traffic or pedestrians crossing the road and motorists can only make a turn when the signal turns green. 

“Where it is not feasible to introduce red-amber-green signals, LTA will look into other road safety features, such as warning signs and turning pockets,” he said.

MPs had called for discretionary right turns to be scrapped in 2019, following two separate fatal accidents at the intersections of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road, as well as Upper Bukit Timah Road and Jalan Anak Bukit — in both cases, the junctions had discretionary turns.

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