Calls for discretionary right turns to be reevaluated in Singapore in light of a boy’s brush with death were dismissed yesterday by none other than the prime minister’s powerful wife.
In response to a message calling for the traffic law to be “reviewed and enhanced” following the Havelock Road incident, Ho Ching said “(l)aws cannot cover every situation” and that “people need to also take responsibility.”
“They can cover perhaps 80% of the more common or more serious situations for common good. Then people need to also take responsibility and exercise common sense individually and as a community, to mitigate marginal risks and create a safer, friendly, kinder and more patient world,” wrote Ho, who is also CEO of state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings.
She was replying to a message written by a Timothy Lim in the comments of her post sharing news of Monday’s incident in which a 15-year-old middle schooler was sent flipping through the air by a car along Havelock Road that was making a right turn.
Lim responded to Ho’s statement by suggesting better education.
“True it cannot be anticipated as it also needs to educate them, starting from young children in schools and safety campaigns on walkways,” he wrote.
Discretionary right turns at traffic lights allow motorists to turn right into crosswalks being actively used by pedestrians — so long as it is safe to do so.
The driver of the red Honda Jazz in Monday’s incident making such a turn between Havelock Road and Clemenceau Avenue had little view of the boy crossing the street until the moment he hit him due to a larger vehicle, a jeep, making the same turn.
The teenager was subsequently taken to the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. There is still no word about his condition.
Dashcam footage of the incident has been circulating online since Wednesday, attracting a variety of comments including many calls for the discretionary right turn rule to be scrapped.
“I hope [the Land Transport Authority] could scrap the right turn rule in order to keep the pedestrian crossing safely and also for the safety of the drivers,” Facebook user Sky Ng wrote.
“No to vehicular discretionary turning aka Green Man Green Light. Reckless drivers put pedestrians in grave danger,” CK Lin said.