What is more important than saving a life, or better still, preventing a death? Yet this is the 'seat belt' that the LTA has been sitting on for several years. Like what many have already written, why must it take a boy's death to galvanise our law makers into action? That our Parliamentarians appear so determined this time around AFTER the fact smacks of hypocrisy. As people elected to make and pass laws, it would appear that our Parliamentarians, government or opposition, are remiss in one of their most important jobs - to protect their constituents, and by extension, their country.
Is it that the civil service, represented by the LTA, is so authoritative, and the mini-bus drivers' association so intransigent, that our law makers shy away from engaging them when it sees a danger that must be plugged? Truly, making money on this island is still of primary importance, even over life and safety. Well, not totally true. Safety at construction work site is policed regularly, though the last tragedy at a work site - the Nicoll Highway collapse, was supervised by LTA. Is it a coincidence that the LTA is involved in so much bad news over the last couple of years?
Are seat belts the solution to preventing deaths in our vehicles? Probably, but I would venture to guess that it hasn't been foolproof, nor can it be the last word on road safety. The other problem, really, is speeding and reckless driving on our roads. And it hasn't stopped. Just last evening, it was reported that an SMRT bus was involved in an accident with a private bus, resulting in 15 people getting injured. Fortunately for everyone, nobody died in spite of the absence on both vehicles of seat belts. The private bus was reportedly carrying more passengers in this accident. And it wasn't a minor one. The front of the SMRT bus was reportedly "badly mangled".
Perhaps our law makers should also re-look into issues over and above that of mandatory seat belts in mini-buses?
p.s. Going by the same logic, shouldn't there be seat belts in public buses and trains as well? Some 'experts' have claimed that the size and design of large vehicles allow them to better withstand shocks. Well, we are just waiting for the first fatal casualty, aren't we?
Image source: www.morgueFile.com. Author: Kahanaboy