Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tampines St 45 dangerously accident-prone, say residents

TAMPINES - A day after the horrific accident, people were still jaywalking.

Pedestrians at Tampines Street 45 were seen ignoring traffic lights as they crossed the street, casually strolling with their earphones plugged in.

Some students even ran across the road.
This, despite the fact that the street is infamous among residents there.

"The area is dangerously accident-prone," claimed Mr Michael Seet, 60, a retiree.

The resident of Block 491C did not witness Monday's tragedy, but claimed to have seen other accidents happen on Street 45, such as one involving a woman early one morning two years ago.

On Dec 6, 2011, Madam Mislia Ahmad, 65, was killed by a car turning right from Street 45 into Tampines Avenue 9, reported The Straits Times.

Near misses

Many residents also told The New Paper about their near misses with speeding vehicles there.

Mr John Tan, 64, claimed he was almost hit by a lorry at the junction of Street 45 and Avenue 9, when the traffic lights had been in his favour.

"Many lorries speed here," said the retiree, who lives in Block 489. "They are really too fast.

Accidents like that (Monday's accident) can be avoided if they weren't so fast."

TNP understands there is a construction site beside Block 491E. Two blocks of flats and a multi-storey carpark are being built there.

Residents also complained about how there were too many heavy vehicles on the narrow road.
Street 45 is a two-lane road that runs to the four-lane Tampines Avenue 9.

Opposite the road is All Saints Home, a nursing home for the elderly.

There is a zebra crossing just outside Dunman Secondary School, with signs warning motorists of crossing students. The speed limit for Street 45 is 50kmh.

When The New Paper went to the junction at 1.30pm yesterday, many school buses were turning into the narrow road.

They were there to drop off students after school and when they turned, they took up nearly half of the street.

We also counted a total of 34 heavy vehicles between 5pm and 6pm, including buses, cement trucks and other construction trucks.

Monday's accident had happened at around 5.50pm.

"The turning is so narrow that when the heavy vehicles turn, there is no space for the children to stand. It's very dangerous for them," said Mrs Priya Senthil, 32, who lives in Block 498B.

The mother of two claimed that children often walk along the road from Dunman Secondary School or from Tampines North Primary School.

Others, like Mr Muhammad Adanan, 23, blamed the traffic lights.

Mr Adanan, a tow-head driver who moves containers around shipyards, claimed that during peak hours, only four or five cars can drive through the Avenue 9 junction each time before the light changes.

"I often see people try to speed up, to beat the lights," he said.

Between 5pm and 6pm yesterday, we witnessed at least six vehicles trying to beat the red light.
Mr Adanan lives in Block 494 with his family. In the six months he has lived there, he has heard of three accidents there, he claimed.

"It's quite a scary place, quite dangerous. I hope something can be done," he said.

Many residents are now calling for a change.

"We need more speed bumps and more traffic police here," said a resident, who wanted to be known only as Madam Koh.


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