Because one more life lost is one too many

Three pedestrians were killed in a road accident today (Apr 23), at a crossing near Yio Chu Kang MRT. Representatives from SBS Transit confirmed that a lorry “came hurtling”, hitting the pedestrians and a stationary SBS bus at the traffic junction. The 25-year-old lorry driver has been arrested, but was conscious when he was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. While the crash could come across as a freak accident (investigations are ongoing), it is the third fatal road accident in the past few days, following two separate collisions that killed a 23-year-old woman and a 19-year-old undergraduate from the National University of Singapore.

It hasn’t taken long for netizens to do something about it. A user by the name of Gen Y (and people say millennials have no sense of humor) started a petition yesterday, to request for the Land Transport Authority to review the current traffic light rules on the island. Since the petition’s conception, more than 4,000 people have signed their support, surpassing the initial goal of 1,500 signatures.

Specifically, many signees pointed out that the tricky right-turn system, employed more frequently by countries that follow left-hand traffic (ie. driving on the left side of the road), is a major factor in road accidents here. The rule, which permits turning right at a green light, pits drivers turning right against those going straight for right-of-way.

One signee, Jia Min, commented, "Sometimes I also feel pressured to turn on green because there are other drivers behind me! But I usually don’t, because I’d rather be safe. But still—I feel stressed." Another signee John Choo left a suggestion to do away with the possibility of error, and install red and green arrow lights at every traffic junction—a sentiment shared by various other netizens.


Screenshot from Change.org


A Facebook comment in reply to reporting on the first accident from Channel News Asia
 

Users from local forum HardwareZone have also started their own petition to ban right-turning at a green light. The question remains though: Are signatures enough to make change?