A massive traffic jam occurred on Tuesday 6th September 2016 after a tipper truck overturned along Upper Thompson Road. As a result of this accident, many passengers who included office workers, were worried sick that they might be late for work so they requested the bus captain to allow them to alight at the nearest bus stop. You could see the frustration on many of their faces, but thank God, the driver was very understanding.
I was in SBS service number 163 at around 8.30am on that fateful day when I was also caught in the jam. I knew something was amiss when the Land Transport Authority (LTA) signboard flashed ‘Roads Closed’.
It later revealed that lanes were closed at the cross junction of Upper Thomson Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, towards Sembawang Road, and a road closure at the cross junction of Upper Thomson Road and Jalan Leban following the oil spillage from the tipper truck.
I had much admiration for the police, the LTA staff and the workers who worked feverishly to remove the oil spillage under the blazing hot sun that morning.
The number of oil spills on our roads is one too many. Imagine having to take a flight at Changi Airport and an oil spill occurs along Tampines Road or roads leading to the airport?
This is precisely why it is important to plan and travel much earlier as we have to ‘expect the unexpected’. Accidents on the roads are increasing.
For oil spillage, once a spill has reached soil or any broken ground, the control, containment and cleanup of the spill often becomes more difficult than it would be on a hard surface.
For car owners and bus drivers, it is important to check, periodically, perhaps once a week if there are any oil leaks in their vehicles.
For tipper trucks, the company pumping in the oil has to ensure that there are no leakages and to put reinforcements in place to prevent oil spillages.
Taking a tougher stand, the authorities should suspend the driving licences of truck drivers, be they those transporting fuel and oil or sand who continue to disregard road safety. It is common knowledge that the more trips these drivers make to deliver sand and oil, the more money they get to earn.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
PROFILE OF THE WRITER
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.
He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.
Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.