Discretionary right turns - the source of stretched out necks, impatient car honks, and fierce debate in recent years - are continuing on their way out of Singapore's roads.
As per reporting by The Straits Times, close to 700 traffic junctions have already been retrofitted with red-amber-green (RAG) turning arrows as of Jan 5 this year. The latest one was installed at a cross junction at Pasir Ris Drive 1.
Come 2024, approximately 1,200 - or 75 per cent - of the 1600 junctions in Singapore are targeted to feature RAG turning signals. The LTA has apparently already been analysing the traffic conditions at all the junctions since 2018, as part of the lead up to actual implementation.
In the process, higher-risk areas, such as junctions around schools or those used by vulnerable groups, have been prioritised thus far.
As most of us will remember, the heat on discretionary right turns was turned up in 2018, when a fatal accident at a cross junction in Clementi resulted in the tragic passing of a university student, as well as grievous hurt to the other three passengers in the vehicle.
Despite noticing oncoming traffic, their taxi driver had made a right turn only to be swiped by a speeding car that had been travelling between 92km/h to 97km/h.
Since then, Singaporean MPs have routinely raised the issue of installing RAG turning signals across the island.
A parliamentary question just last September to the Minister of Transport, S Iswaran, revealed that about 430 accidents have occurred at such junctions every year on average over the last five years, with 40 per cent involving motorcyclists, and 25 per cent involving pedestrians.
This article was first published in sgCarMart.