S1E44: Singapore’s worsening road culture: What’s behind it and what can be done?

  • 8 Jul 2024

The tension between drivers and motorcyclists in Singapore is longstanding, ugly and increasingly a fatality risk - but what lies at the root of this strained relationship? 

Synopsis: Every first Monday of the month, The Straits Times takes a hard look at social issues of the day with guests.

Traffic accidents claimed the lives of 54 people within the first four months of 2024. 

Motorcyclists and pillion riders accounted for more than half those deaths - a trend that continues from the previous year. 

With traffic accident fatalities in 2023 at an all time high since 2016, it’s time to ask what can be done to make Singapore’s roads safer. 

In this episode, ST assistant podcast editor Lynda Hong and co-host and STNow reporter Christie Chiu speak with their two guests to find out if Singapore’s roads are truly as hostile as these numbers depict, and what factors are driving it. 

On the road for at least six hours a day with aspiring motorists, Aman Aljunied is an experienced motorbike and car instructor who previously taught at the Singapore Safety Driving Centre for nearly 40 years. 

Joining the discussion is Dennis Quah, who heads the Singapore chapter of the Harley Davidson Owners’ Group, a motorcycle club renowned for its safe riding practices. When he’s not riding motorcycles, Dennis drives on a daily basis. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:59 Is Singapore’s road culture uglier than other South-east Asian countries? How the effects of a high-pressure society bleed into our roads

7:54 “High cost of these toys called cars”: Are the stark differences in COE and ERP fees a main factor of hostility between motorcyclists and drivers?

11:40 The pros and cons of social media as a tool to circulate footage of road incidents 

18:29 Why Aman thinks Basic Theory Course lessons should go back to in-person classes

24:03 Dennis and Aman on why speeding up, does not actually save motorists much time

37:04 The human touch that has been lost on Singapore’s roads

Produced by: Christie Chiu (christiec@sph.com.sg), Lynda Hong (lyndahong@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis & Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim 

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