As part of an inter-agency review to improve the safety of worker transportation, the Government has engaged various stakeholders, including industry groups, safety experts, transport operators, private companies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions.
2 Taking into consideration the challenges and concerns from the various stakeholders, the Traffic Police (TP), Land Transport Authority (LTA), and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be rolling out several new measures. These measures include:
Speed Limiters for Lorries
3 To improve road safety and driving behaviour, TP will require all lorries with a Maximum Laden Weight (MLW) exceeding 3,500 kg to be equipped with speed limiters. Today, speed limiters are already mandated for all goods vehicles with an MLW exceeding 12,000 kg, while speed warning devices are required for all goods vehicles with an MLW not exceeding 3,500kg. With the expanded speed limiter regime, all lorries will now be required to be equipped with speed management devices. TP will be engaging the industry on the new requirement and more details will be released when ready.
New Measures to Ensure Driver Alertness and Well-being
4 MOM will enhance its regulations to ensure driver alertness and wellbeing. MOM will require employers to ensure that their drivers, in particular those with dual roles of ferrying workers and working onsite, have sufficient rest before driving. This will be on top of existing regulations on the number of working hours.
5 MOM will also require all lorries which are ferrying workers to have a designated person as the “vehicle person-in-charge” (V-PIC). The V-PIC will be empowered to stop the driver from driving if he is deemed unfit to drive. MOM will be engaging the industry further on these requirements and more details will be available in the second half of this year.
Rain Covers for All Lorries Ferrying Workers
6 To improve worker welfare, the LTA, with the support of MOM, will mandate all lorries which are used to ferry workers to be fitted with rain covers. Currently, such lorries must be fitted with canopies to provide shelter, including against inclement weather. The rain covers, which are typically waterproof canvas tarps installed on the sides of the lorry rear deck, will complement the canopies. MOM and LTA will announce more implementation details in the second half of this year.
Findings from Study on Seatbelt Installation
7 The Government also studied suggestions to require seatbelts to be installed in the rear decks of lorries. LTA consulted motor vehicle dealers and workshops on the feasibility of this proposal, and they provided feedback that the proposal could pose safety risks and was not feasible. Commercial lorries today are not designed for seatbelts to be installed in the rear deck, as the floorboards in the rear deck might not be sufficiently strong to keep the seatbelts anchored in the event of an accident.
8 We will work closely with stakeholders on the implementation of the new measures and provide sufficient time for them to adapt to the new requirements. At the same time, the Government will also partner the industry to encourage and facilitate the progressive shift to safer transportation modes, such as buses, for worker transportation.