SINGAPORE: Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, Baey Yam Keng has proposed to make it mandatory for heavy vehicles to stay off residential areas with high pedestrian traffic.
Mr Baey had earlier suggested re—routing heavy vehicles so that they avoid areas near schools or busy walkways following the tragic accident which took place in Tampines on January 28.
Two brothers, aged seven and 13, died after their bicycle was hit by a cement truck at the junction of Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Street 45.
In a mature estate like Tampines, with a built—up network of roads, it would be a challenge to ensure heavy vehicles avoid areas with high pedestrian traffic, but Mr Baey believes there are ways to make it happen.
This may mean getting the drivers of heavy vehicles to go by a longer route.
Mr Baey said: "We understand that for such drivers, in their profession, they are paid according to the trips. So naturally they are anxious or in a hurry to complete the journey as soon as they can.
"But we will need their cooperation. If indeed a longer route is a safer route for other road users, then we would like them to help us in this because eventually it is better for everybody."
A day after the tragic accident, Mr Baey wrote in to the housing and transport authorities to find a solution on the matter.
He has asked the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to work with their contractors and explore alternative routes for heavy vehicles to the construction sites.
Both authorities have replied to him, saying they are taking the issue seriously.
Mr Baey has also called for a review of the traffic management at the Tampines junction where two boys were killed.
He asked the Traffic Police for a report on the frequency of accidents there.
He said three accidents have been recorded at the junction since 2009, including the one on Monday.
The recent accident has prompted calls for action to promote road safety.
The Singapore Safety Council said it planned to publish a book on cycling guidelines.
Mr Baey stressed the need to ascertain the cause of the accident before the problem can be addressed.
He said: "The two boys were cycling, but they were crossing the traffic junction when that happened. I’m not sure whether a walking pedestrian would have suffered the same fate when that happened.
"So let us not jump to any conclusion that it is about cycling. That is why we need to understand the root of the accident and then address it squarely and promptly on that."
The brothers will be cremated on January 31.
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