Fresh set of eyes on the road to deter speed demons

Fresh set of eyes on the road to deter speed demons
Photo: Wee Teck Hian/TODAY
Published: 4:29 PM, May 19, 2016
Updated: 8:39 AM, May 20, 2016

SINGAPORE — To clamp down on speeding, a new generation of speed laser cameras, which can identify offenders more quickly and accurately, has been deployed at 44 locations islandwide, including stretches of all expressways and accident-prone roads.

#ICYMI: Here are the roads in #Singapore where the Traffic Police are deploying new laser speed cameras, which can detect speeding vehicles from further distances.

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Posted by TODAY on Thursday, May 19, 2016

The new cameras, rolled out by the Traffic Police (TP) on Thursday (May 19), can snap sharper images at shorter half-second intervals, record video, and are able to detect the speed of vehicles from further distances. 

These improved features are crucial for identifying speeding vehicles effectively, said the TP, noting that there were occasions in the past where vehicles were travelling too fast for their image to be clearly captured. 

The video-recording function will be useful under low-light conditions, it added.

This is the first upgrade of speed laser cameras — manned by at least one police officer on overhead bridges or at the side of the roads — since the TP started using them in 2004.

The TP have shortlisted 44 “accident-prone and high-risk” locations where the cameras may be deployed, such as Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Lentor Avenue, Lornie Road, Nicoll Highway, Tampines Avenue 10, Upper Bukit Timah Road and Upper Thomson Road.

Signage have been put up to alert motorists when they are entering zones under the speed laser cameras’ supervision.

Before the upgrade, speed cameras were employed at 48 locations. The number has decreased as fewer locations are now considered “prone to speed-related accidents”, said the TP. 

The new cameras are also equipped with batteries lasting up to seven hours, compared with four hours previously. The TP declined to give specific details about how the other aspects of the new cameras compare with the older ones.

In February, colourfully-painted mobile speed cameras (MSCs) were rolled out for the first time at Seletar Link towards Seletar North.

In March, the MSCs — which are able to operate round-the-clock, even during inclement weather — were launched at two new locations, Jurong Island Highway and Lim Chu Kang Road.

The TP said more MSCs will be launched in time to come, but declined to give further details.

Apart from deploying cameras at specific locations, TP officers also ply the roads on motorbikes and in police cars fixed with radars and laser guns that are able to track down speed demons.

Figures from the Traffic Police’s latest annual traffic report, released in February this year, showed that the introduction of digital red light cameras and fixed speed cameras had helped reduce the number of “red-running” violations by 27.2 per cent to 28,507 last year, from 39,168 in 2014.

The number of speedsters caught on these digital speed cameras dropped by 70.96 per cent last year within nine months of their installation.

However, the number of injuries involving speeding vehicles have risen by 3 per cent last year to 8,021, up from 7,809 cases in 2014. Fatal speeding accidents rose to 48 last year, from 43 in 2014.

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