Skin scrapes, twisted ankles and broken bones are common among bikers who have experienced their fair share of motorbike accidents. Yet these are considered light injuries. According to statistics, there is about one major motorcycle accident every two days in Singapore. Unfortunately, this is on the uptrend. In 2015, there were 241 more injured riders and pillions compared to the year before.
In response to this worrying trend, our Traffic Police (TP), in cooperation with Singapore Road Safety Council, launched their Singapore Ride Safe (SRS) campaign on 20 August 2016. The tagline for the currently ongoing campaign is “Wear Safe. Ride Safe”.
Hodaka Motoworld, a retail outlet and online store specialising in motorbike gears, apparels and parts, saw a synergy in TP’s efforts and their brand philosophy of equipping bikers with the best protection. So they linked up with the Traffic Community Policing team to be part of a follow-up campaign called SAFE|SAVE.
We caught up with Kevin Liew (@kevinstry), who is part of the Hodaka team and is involved in SAFE|SAVE to find out what TP is doing to raise awareness of road safety and “RoadSense” among the motorcycling community.
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“We engaged the crowd by showing them a presentation to educate them about the different types of safety gears available to them. We also gave advice on how to take care of their helmets and when they should replace worn out protective clothing. Next, we had our ambassador, Miss Scarlett Chan, sharing her real live experiences with getting into an accident without the proper attire. The Traffic Police team showed the crowd some accident videos to show how serious the consequences are and got them to think of ways to improve our safety culture,” says Kevin.
“We have already engaged over 150 bikers so far. The effects of such campaigns are difficult to measure immediately and are usually intangible. However, we definitely felt a positive change in riders’ mindsets about safety. We know the message is effective because we see some riders who have attended the talks browsing in our store for safety apparel at our showroom. There are more talks arranged for the month of November and December targeted at courier riders and companies with a lot of people who ride to work”.
The reason why Singaporean riders are so reluctant to wear safety gears is an obvious one — our hot and humid weather. Wearing all that extra layers can get very uncomfortable. But advancement in material technology and designs has improved the ventilation factor tremendously over the years.
For example, the RS Taichi Air Track series of gears claims to be “the safest and most comfortable”. Their Track Jackets provide style and comfort. It looks like a sports jacket and comes with a CE certified armour embedded inside to provide the needed protection. They are also seeing more new riders coming to their outlets to purchase full riding gear sets that include gloves and boots.
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“SRS campaign may not change an entire nation of riders’ mindset overnight, but we hope that our efforts have a far-reaching ripple effect. You can be lucky nine times, but it only takes one time to get you into a serious life threatening accident. We hope to keep driving home our message of minimising these risks by wearing protective gears to get home safely to your loved ones to as many riders as we can,” says Kevin.
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