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Seniors First: 7 things that make Silver Zones road safety havens

Posted on | 24 Jun 2022

Hero Image of roads with street lights

You can’t miss the signs.

Rendered in bright blue and highlighter yellow, motorists turning into Jurong West Street 52 Silver Zone will note that they’re entering a ‘special zone’ where they’re required to slow down and pay extra attention to their surroundings.

Enter the Silver Zone, a stretch with enhanced road safety features that cater to all pedestrians, especially elderly pedestrians and the less mobile. Other traffic calming and safety measures include prominent road markings, chicanes and wider centre road dividers.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) aims to create 50 Silver Zones by 2025 in estates with a high proportion of senior residents and relatively higher accident rates involving seniors.

Thanks to the implementation of these elderly-friendly zones, the number of road accidents involving senior pedestrians has dropped by about 80% in completed Silver Zones since the concept was launched in 2014.

Just what makes these zones road safety havens?

Let’s check out their unique features!

1. Look up and down: Silver Zone Gateway Treatment
Image of Silver Zone

Whether it’s the Silver Zone signs, yellow rumble strips or the ‘40km/h’ speed limit road markings, this treatment packs a punch in reminding motorists to be mindful of pedestrians and lower their speed while driving.

You’ll spot these signature features a mile away the next time you’re driving into a Silver Zone, so keep a look out and slow down!

2. Keep calm and curvy on
Image of S-shaped chiacanes roads
Image of roundabout

S-shaped roads, called chicanes, are another Silver Zone feature that promotes road safety by slowing motorists down. In addition, the roundabout integrated into some Silver Zones helps to remove traffic conflict points and improve traffic flow.

Fun Fact: Y-junctions
Did you know? There are also “Y-junctions” used on roads that create a bend to slow motorists down when approaching a junction, so that motorists will exercise more caution when driving through the area.
Image of y-junction road
3. Wider centre dividers
Image of low height divider

Centre dividers can be found throughout Silver Zones. They create a narrower road to encourage motorists to drive slower within the zone and discourage motorists from overtaking dangerously.

Some centre dividers along two-way roads in the Silver Zone are lower than the usual dividers to allow emergency vehicles to pass over them safely when there is a need to do so.

4. Powering up with the extended green man in 3… 2… 1…!
Image of green man crossing junction

By extending the time of the green man signal, the elderly can cross traffic junctions with greater ease.

Did you know? The green man timing is determined by the length of the pedestrian crossing and average walking speed of pedestrians! In Silver Zones, we consider a lower walking speed in determining the total green man time, so that seniors can cross comfortably.

5. Pinch points with crossings: Look right, look left and look right again
Image of pinch crossing road

Two-stage crossings allow seniors to traverse the road more easily and safely with the help of “pinch points”. This is where the road narrows, forcing motorists to slow down, while the widened centre divider serves as a momentary resting point for pedestrians.

Fun-fact! Did you know kerb-cut ramps are also installed to provide barrier-free accessibility?

6. More 30km/h Silver Zones

To make roads even safer for our seniors, we lowered the speed limit at three Silver Zone locations – Bukit Merah View, Jurong West Street 52 and Potong Pasir Avenue 2 – to 30km/h.

We will also be progressively extending the lower speed limit to the following Silver Zones locations:

  1. Lor 8 and Lor 8A Toa Payoh;
  2. Bedok North St 3, Ave 1 and Ave 2;
  3. Commonwealth Dr; and
  4. Lengkok Bahru, Jalan Tiong and Redhill Rd.
Fun Fact: Enhanced Penalties in Silver Zones

Since July 2021, the government has enhanced penalties in Silver Zones to deter irresponsible driving. Under the Road Traffic Act, motorists who commit offences at pedestrian crossings or offences that endanger pedestrian safety at Silver Zones will incur two additional demerit points on top of the original demerit points for the offence. In addition, the composition fines for these specified offences committed in Silver Zones will be raised by $100.

7. Placemaking combined with Safer Roads

If you’ve been to the Silver Zone at Whampoa Drive, you’ll notice a short stretch where residents can sit on benches, sit back, and enjoy daytime conversations or the cool night breeze.

Image of placemaking area at Whampoa Drive
Images of present day Whampoa Drive for daytime conversations
Image of repurposed Whampoa Drive at night
Images of present day Whampoa Drive at night

This area was once a service road that was expunged in 2019 to create a community space for residents to enjoy.

Photo of Whampoa Drive’s service road before expunction
Before: Photo of Whampoa Drive’s service road before expunction
Image of Whampoa Drive reworked as a placemaking area for the community

After: Photo of Whampoa Drive reworked as a placemaking area for the community

Not only that, here’s a little-known fact behind why this enhancement was developed: safer roads for the elderly!

With the expunction of the service road, crossing the road to get from the residential blocks to the hawker centre (and vice versa) became simpler for residents in the area. Instead of crossing twice – at a zebra crossing and signalised crossing – pedestrians now cross at one signalised crossing to get to their destination.

A roundabout was also introduced to smoothen the traffic flow by regulating U-turns near the car park exit.

Image of a new roundabout to regulate traffic flow movement
Photo: a new roundabout to regulate traffic flow movement

By repurposing the road space to provide a community space with more greenery, benches and wider paths, residents can now stroll safely and comfortably in their neighbourhood and have more opportunities for interactions with each other in this space.

With Silver Zones and safety measures, our roads are safer than ever.

Let’s all continue to stay alert and do our part to keep our roads safe for everyone!

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