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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 27 March 2007

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1,420 fatal and injury accidents involving taxis in 2006


Written Answer to Parliamentary Question on number of accidents involving taxis for 2006; measures the Traffic Police has taken and the number of taxi licences revoked and reinstated in 2006

27 February 2007
Ms Ellen Lee Geck Hoon:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, in view of the increase in the number of vehicles and fatal accident cases,
 (a) what is the number of accidents involving taxis for 2006;
 (b) what other measures has the Traffic Police taken against taxi drivers involved in road accidents apart from prosecution, composition fines and demerit points; and
 (c) how many taxi licences have been revoked and reinstated in 2006.
Mr Wong Kan Seng:
Last year saw an overall increase of 11.8% in the total number of fatal and injury accidents.
Fatal and injury accidents involving taxis rose from 1,270 cases in 2005 to 1,420 cases last year. As a proportion of fatal and injury accidents involving taxis, the rate remained stable at 19% over the last 2 years.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) under the Ministry of Transport administers the vocational licence for taxi drivers. According to the LTA, 103 taxi driver vocational licences (TDVL) were revoked in 2006.
LTA does not reinstate the TDVL once it has been revoked. The ex-TDVL holder will have to make a fresh application once the debarment period is over.
In addition, the applicant will need to go through the taxi-driver course again and sit for a test. The duration of the debarment period would depend on the type of offence committed by the taxi driver.
Traffic Police or TP recognizes that, as public transport operators, taxi drivers have an added responsibility to safeguard the safety of their passengers. They should also exemplify safe driving behaviour and be role models for other road users, since they spend more time on the roads.
TP actively engages the taxi operator associations as well as taxi drivers to promote road safety awareness.
Regular meetings are held with the taxi operator associations to discuss road safety issues and initiatives, while road safety talks are conducted to educate taxi drivers on safe driving behaviour. Road safety advertisements are also put up on taxis to remind all road users, including taxi drivers.
Since 2000, Traffic Police has been appointing taxi drivers to serve as road courtesy ambassadors.
Through their courteous acts, such as signalling early and giving way to other road users, the appointed taxi drivers help to spread the message of courteous driving.
They also act to spot other courteous motorists, who would be awarded with prizes during our "Spot the Courteous Motorists Programme". Collaterals1 carrying road courtesy and safety messages were also disseminated to more than 20,000 taxi drivers in 2006.
1The collaterals include items like tissue boxes, tissue packs, note pads etc.

Source: Press Release 28 Feb 2007

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