Use Your RoadSense

We are all aware of what road safety is – we know the rules and regulations, and we know what will happen to us if we don’t obey these rules and regulations. However, we are in the 21st century now and we shouldn’t be obeying these out of fear of enforcement. Can we not take more personal responsibility as a road user (regardless of whether you’re a pedestrian, motorist or cyclist) and not break the rules because we don’t want to, rather than not break the rules because we will get fined?

The Traffic Police launched the ‘Use Your RoadSense’ movement with a dialogue session on Tuesday morning, as part of the Safer Roads Singapore plan they announced in 2013. The objective of the movement is to try and engage the different road user groups and hold various conversations to understand their challenges better. Can something be done collectively to build a nation of safe road users instead of just implementing tougher enforcements?

Sam Tee, Commander of Traffic Police, addressed the audience, before the panel of speakers each shared their views on the various factors that affect road safety. Professor Sumit Agarwal shared on socio-economic factors, Associate Professor Gopinath Menon shraed on infrastructure factors, Sing Mong Kee shared on technological factors and Kevin Menon shared the psychological factors.

I was also involved as the moderator of the dialogue panel, which I facilitated with the speakers and also representatives of various target segments including Volvo Trucks, Workplace Health and Safety, Ministry of Education and more.

Use Your RoadSense Dialogue - 2

The Traffic Police have led Road Safety programmes previously, but I think we need to understand that road safety is not solely the responsibility of the Traffic Police. It is also very much ours.

Road safety has to start with us and we need to also understand that our actions on the road will affect others, even though we feel empowered in our own vehicles sometimes. “If we choose to be road conscious, if we are more aware of our attitudes and behaviour on the road, and how it impacts other users, this will lead to safer roads. If we understand why others behave the way they do, it will lead to more empathy and respect for others.” said Sam Tee in his opening address the other day.

Use Your RoadSense Dialogue - 4

He added, “I hope we can explore the probability of us creating a road culture for Singapore. I hope we can better understand why some people behave differently when they get behind the wheel. What needs to happen to help build a culture of good road behaviour, or RoadSense? Can we evolve from obeying Rules and Regulations to practicing Social Norms – for example, accepting that drink-driving is an anti-social behaviour.

“Can we change from asking “Is this illegal?” to saying “I shouldn’t be doing this.” Can we stop saying “This is TP’s job” to “this is everyone’s responsibility.” Road Safety has been about black and white, legal and illegal. We need to evolve to Road Culture, where it’s about social norms, it’s about watching out for one another, that it’s the right thing to do as one person to another.”

Let’s do this – let’s use our RoadSense better!

2. RoadSense Overview Factsheet

3. Research Findings Infographic

20150401 TP Research Findings Infographic - Motorist Group