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S’pore ‘one of the best cities for driving, but not for road safety’

SINGAPORE — Singapore has been ranked among the best cities in the world for driving, but the roads may not be as safe as statistics tout them to be, two separate studies have shown.

Singapore has been ranked among the best cities in the world for driving, but the roads may not be as safe as statistics tout them to be, two separate studies have shown. TODAY file photo

Singapore has been ranked among the best cities in the world for driving, but the roads may not be as safe as statistics tout them to be, two separate studies have shown. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — Singapore has been ranked among the best cities in the world for driving, but the roads may not be as safe as statistics tout them to be, two separate studies have shown.

The first, a survey on the quality of driving by German online car parts retailer kfzteile24, ranked Singapore sixth out of 100 cities, behind Dusseldorf, Dubai, Zurich, Tokyo and Basel. Dortmund, Vienna, Munich and Calgary rounded out the 10 best cities.

The criteria used included average vehicle age, congestion levels, public transport options, average cost of parking, cost of fuel, average speeds and levels of air pollution. Accidents and fatalities, road quality and the frequency and perception of road rage were also taken into account. Traffic delays or congestion caused by road work was not taken into account.

Singapore’s congestion level was highest among the top 10, based primarily on data from navigation products company TomTom’s Traffic Index. Singapore had the largest increase in overall travel times — 38 per cent — compared with uncongested situations. The congestion levels among top scorers were in marked contrast to cities at the bottom of the rankings, such as Kolkata, Karachi and Lagos, which scored 59 per cent to 69 per cent. The island-state’s air pollution score was also the worst among the top 10 cities.

But Singapore’s road quality was tops, alongside Helsinki, Manchester, Bordeaux, Paris, Nice and Marseille. The cost of parking in Singapore was also the lowest among the top 10 cities.

Meanwhile, a report by consumer researchers ValuePenguin said driving in Singapore may not be as safe as the public perceives. Although the World Health Organisation assessed Singapore in 2013 to have among the fewest fatalities per capita out of 178 countries, the country fared less favourably when the measure of fatalities per vehicle was used. According to the report, there were 15.8 fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles in Singapore in 2015, three times the figure (5.3) in Japan.

Fewer than half of households here own a car, which means the majority is less exposed to the risks of travel by motor vehicles and the chances of getting into a car accident are lower. In 2013, about 42 per cent of households here owned a car; the rate was much higher in countries such as the United States (88 per cent), Japan (81 per cent) and Malaysia (82 per cent).

“Drivers in Singapore may actually be more dangerous than drivers in other high-wealth countries such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada,” stated the ValuePenguin article, Probability of Getting in a Car Accident in Singapore.

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