SINGAPORE – Fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles continue to decline last year but those that cause injuries crept up slightly.

In all, 26 people died in these accidents and 1,174 were injured last year, the Traffic Police said on Thursday (Aug 15).

The corresponding figures in 2017 are: 34 deaths and 1,143 injured.

Last year’s deaths occurred in 23 accidents.

This is a 30 per cent drop from 33 in 2017 which, in turn, is lower than 41 in 2016.

On the other hand, heavy vehicle accidents that caused injuries rose 2.8 per cent last year, from 732 in 2017 to 753 in 2018. In 2016, there were 838 such accidents.

Adding up the two categories of accidents, the total number of such accidents last year climbed to 776, which is 11 more than 765 in 2017.

To bring down the figures, an island-wide operation against errant heavy vehicles was carried out on Thursday by more than 20 officers from the Traffic Police, Land Transport Authority and the National Environment Agency.

The operation was observed by the media, including The Straits Times.

Riding on their black “stealth bikes”, the covert Traffic Police officers from the Special Operations Team issued 26 summonses to 25 drivers for such offences as speeding and failing to keep to the left on expressways.

In addition, 39 LTA offences, such as improper number plates, tinted windows and overloading, were detected by enforcement officers.

In one case, the driver of a company van chalked up six offences for illegal modifications of the vehicle’s front lights, headlights, rear lamps and number plate.

Its heavily tinted driver’s windows allowed only 4 per cent of light through. The van also had sunshades on the top and bottom of the front windscreen.

LTA rules forbid sunshades to be installed more than 150mm from the top edge of the front windscreen. Sunshades on the bottom of the front windscreen are barred.

Meanwhile, the NEA officers issued one summons to a driver for vehicular smoke emission.

Such operations are carried out regularly, as the heavy vehicles are likely to cause damage and loss of lives in an an accident, said Assistant Superintendent Lim Tiong Lam Anthony, the officer-in-charge of the Special Operations Team.

At the same time, the Traffic will continue to engage heavy vehicle drivers and their companies to adopt good practices for safer driving, ASP Lim added.