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Public health specialist says vehicles in Singapore zoom around too quickly, calls for speed limits to drop to 30kmh

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a car driving down a busy city street: Photo: dronepicr/Flickr Photo: dronepicr/Flickr

Apparently, motor vehicles in Singapore zoom around too quickly – at least that’s what one British public health specialist told The Straits Times yesterday. Calling for these breakneck speed limits on all non-expressways to be reduced to 30km/h, 39-year-old Lucy Saunders and her words garnered a bit of a backlash from netizens, who wondered how it would be possible to get anywhere, even on a tiny island like Singapore, with her proposed speeds.

The Road Traffic Act says all vehicles traveling along Singapore roads are limited to 50km/h, while those in tunnels can go up to 80km/h, and those on expressways can reach up to 90km/h. Exceptions to this rule include fire engines, ambulances, or government vehicles from the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

But seeing as how some of the indicators of a street that promotes better health include clean air, shelter areas, things to see and do, and people who walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of drive, perhaps Saunders has a point.

“Walking hasn’t been given the status it deserves,” she related to ST, explaining that four in 10 adults in the country do not clock in a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week.

So she gave us a B grade on her five-day visit here, saying that the heat in the country shouldn’t stop people from walking. Yeah, except it turns people in sweaty grumps, something that’s easily achievable after mere minutes under the sweltering daily heat we get.

Our plus points included public toilets available at MRT stations and constant shade from trees and plants, although she did suggest Singapore’s streets could focus more on people instead of cars by narrowing the width of traffic lanes from 3.4m and 3.5m to 3.2m. The number of accidents could decrease with this change, she said.

To end off, she said that “cars are space-inefficient and driving is useless time. We should get to the point where we use vehicles for when we absolutely need to.”

Most netizens met her suggestions with sarcasm and disbelief, claiming Singapore wasn’t as pleasant to stroll around in as other countries with different seasons.

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But some commenters agreed with her idea, though not necessarily her actual proposals.

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This article, Public health specialist says vehicles in Singapore zoom around too quickly, calls for speed limits to drop to 30kmh, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!

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