Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
asked the Minister for Transport
a. whether the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have certified that it is safe to transport people at the rear of their lorries;
b. if so, what are the exact conditions which have been certified to do so; and
c. if not, whether the Ministry intends to ask the OEMs about this issue and what are the reasons if it does not intend to do so.
Reply by Minister for Transport S Iswaran:
1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and other agencies have engaged the key authorised lorry suppliers in Singapore on enhancing the safety of workers ferried in the lorry rear decks last year. They hold a view similar to what we have previously shared with this House – from a road safety perspective, it will be ideal for lorries not to carry any passengers in their rear decks.
2. However, companies, especially small and medium enterprises in the construction industry, require such form of transportation to facilitate their business operations. Hence,we have been implementing measures to preserve workers’ livelihoods as well as their safety. For instance, LTA has mandated lorries ferrying workers to be fitted with canopies and higher side railings for better safety since 2010. We also recently announced several additional safety measures, such as requiring all lorries to be subject to speed management devices.
3. Road safety is a shared responsibility. While we will continue to study further measures, we urge employers to do their part to ensure the safety and welfare of their staff and, where possible, utilise alternative modes of transport such as buses like some have already done.