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Rise in pothole-related accidents in S’pore road sparks safety concerns

Singapore had seen at least two cases of motorcycle accidents caused by potholes, prompting urgent action. Injuries range from mild to severe, emphasizing the need for safer roads.

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SINGAPORE: Singapore has witnessed a rise in accidents involving motorcycles and potholes, with at least two incidents reported within a single week.

These accidents have resulted in mild to severe injuries, prompting calls for immediate action to address the hazardous road conditions.

One such incident occurred on Monday (29 Jan), when a 30-year-old rider was thrown off his power-assisted bicycle (PAB) after hitting a pothole near Block 254 Bukit Batok East Avenue 4.

According to reports from Shin Min Daily News, the rider was propelled approximately 10 meters before landing on the ground, sustaining a fractured wrist and other injuries.

Similarly, on 22 January, at Hougang Avenue 3 near Defu Lane, another food delivery driver suffered injuries when his e-bike encountered a sizable pothole estimated to be around 40cm in diameter and 6-7cm deep.

While the pothole in Hougang Avenue 3 was promptly repaired by Land Transport Authority (LTA) officers on 29 January, the one in Bukit Batok remains unaddressed.

Road hazards and pothole risks

Riders involved in these accidents have highlighted the challenges posed by such road hazards, particularly during adverse weather conditions.

Potholes, often concealed by water accumulation from heavy rain, coupled with poor visibility especially at night, present significant risks to road users.

Moreover, Shin Min reporters have noted that these potholes can expand over time if left unattended.

Zhang, the 30-year-old rider involved in the Bukit Batok incident, revealed that this was not his first encounter with a pothole-induced accident. Two years ago, he suffered injuries to his left elbow after hitting a pothole in Jurong, along with a broken toenail that never fully healed.

The recent accident has left him with a broken wrist, requiring potential surgery and jeopardizing his livelihood.

Despite having insurance coverage, Zhang expressed worries about the financial implications, including loss of income due to inability to work.

Additionally, concerns about recovery timing, particularly with upcoming personal milestones like a wedding photoshoot and ceremony, weigh heavily on his mind.

In light of these incidents, Zhang urges authorities to expedite pothole repairs to prevent further accidents and ensure road safety for all motorists.

“As other motorists may be affected, I hope the authorities will repair the pothole as soon as possible to avoid more accidents,” he said.

Managing potholes on roads

Potholes have been a persistent issue in Singapore, with LTA reporting 1,123 potholes detected in the first two months of 2023, a significant increase from the previous year attributed to intensified rainfall, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

However, this figure remains lower than the peak observed in 2021.

The formation of potholes is primarily attributed to water seepage into road cracks, exacerbated by vehicle traffic and adverse weather conditions.

In the dry season, LTA said they typically identifies around 200 potholes monthly. However, during the monsoon season, this number can increase significantly to between 800 and 1,000.

Potholes form when water seeps into cracks on the road surface. LTA explained that these cracks, which develop over time due to wear and tear, are usually repaired as part of routine inspection, maintenance, and road resurfacing efforts.

When a pothole is discovered, repairs are usually carried out within 24 hours, provided that the road surface is sufficiently dry for effective repair work.

During periods of heavy rain, additional inspections are conducted, and more resources are allocated to expedite pothole repairs.

The Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) also said that once a pothole forms, it can easily grow in size and depth as passing vehicles further wear down the surface, while rain and flooding can wash away the worn surface.

AAS advises motorists to remain vigilant and refrain from sudden maneuvers to avoid potholes, advocating for reduced speed and cautious navigation over these hazards to mitigate risks of accidents and vehicle damage.

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Too much rain recently. Lets hope sinkholes that can swallow whole cars don’t appear! Please clean/sweep clear the roads of rubble and pebbles. They are wheelchair/PMD wheel shredders!

And they have the cheek to raise the GST?

I thought pothole problems happen only in Malaysia.

Like what happened in Malaysia where a citizen spent his own money to patch up 10 potholes in the Klang area, perhaps some kind Singaporean would arrange to have these potholes patched seeing the G is not doing it?

And can those motorists injured due to these potholes sue the G for compensation? Lawyers can chime in and start a new source of business?

Ppl on the ground oso got many holes. Stored Value in Expired cards oso wanna steal … So many holes for already Rich to Continue to Steal ….

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