Tampines junction to be reviewed after fatal accident

SINGAPORE: MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng says authorities will review the junction of Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Street 45, following a fatal accident there.

Two brothers, aged seven and 13, died after their bicycle was hit by a cement truck on Monday evening.

The brothers Nigel and Donovan cycled around the Tampines estate frequently.

The tragic accident came as a rude shock to their distraught parents who said their sons were usually very careful on the roads.

Mr Francis Yap, the father of the boys, said: "It’s very sad. As a father, I have lost two kids. I hope that those people driving on the roads think about other people’s families also. For those small roads, it’s better to travel within the speed limits and don’t go so fast, especially if you drive a big vehicle. It’s very dangerous. So you must take extra caution to safeguard other people’s lives."

Authorities are also assessing if the routes for heavy—duty vehicles can be reviewed.

Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng said: "Given that this incident involved a cement truck and because of the various projects that are happening in the area, (such as) public housing projects (and) MRT lines (construction), there will be more heavy vehicles in the precinct.

"So, I’ve asked the authorities to review the routes taken by these vehicles to see if there is any way we could re—route them so that they avoid areas which are near schools or where there are many pedestrians."

Monday’s accident is the second fatal one at that road junction in the last 13 months. In December 2011, a 22—year—old unlicensed driver killed a pedestrian while rashly making a right turn from Tampines Street 45 onto Tampines Avenue 9.

Residents Channel NewsAsia spoke to also said that the particular road junction is accident—prone and hope more can be done to beef up the safety in the area, especially with schools nearby.

To equip riders with bike handling competencies, the Singapore Cycling Federation has rolled out two cycling certification programmes.

The first is the BMX certification programme that provides riders with an assessment on their level of competency in bike handling.

The other, which is the Bronze certification programme, is somewhat similar to the Highway Code and practical motorbike—riding lessons. It also aims to educate riders on what to do when faced with dangerous situations while riding on the road.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat meanwhile said schools will step up road safety education and work with the police and the Land Transport Authority on further measures to enhance safety.

Separately, the principal of Tampines North Primary School, Madam Neo Lay Wah, said Donovan was a cheerful student who was well—liked for his pleasant personality. He was helpful towards his classmates and was always well—behaved.

The older boy, Nigel, was an ex—student from the school. He was a friendly and outgoing boy who was always willing to lend a helping hand to his classmates.

The school is in contact with the family and the priority is to support them during this difficult time. The school will closely monitor the well—being of the staff and students and extend counselling support to the affected teachers and students.

— CNA/ir