Last year, there were 241 accidents involving children aged 12 and below. It was 199 in 2014 and 188 the previous year. The children could be pedestrians or on a vehicle. Of the cases last year, seven were accidents at school zones, up from four in 2014 and two in 2013.
The Traffic Police (TP) have taken a series of measures to address the trend. Last year, a road safety corner was established at St Hilda's Primary School in Tampines. The corner provides information to children and parents on good road safety practices, such as identifying blind spots.
The TP have since ramped up education efforts for pupils with the launch of road safety corners in three more schools, making them more accessible to pupils and educators islandwide.
The primary schools are Zhenghua, Qihua and Gan Eng Seng in the West, North and South zones respectively. Said Parliamentary Secretary for Education Faishal Ibrahim: "Although fewer children were injured in traffic accidents, every case is still one too many."
He was speaking at the closing of the annual Shell Traffic Games - a competition to test students' road safety knowledge - yesterday at St Hilda's Primary School.
"We can avoid and prevent needless tragedies by educating our children to practise road safety habits from a young age," he added, urging motorists to be patient and cautious as the young may not be fully aware of hazards around them.
Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said the authorities have also added markings and red textured surfaces to roads in school zones to remind motorists to slow down.
Penalties for errant motorists in school zones have also been increased, and managers of worksites with heavy vehicles have been informed to be more careful and to avoid these zones during peak hours, added Mr Tay.
But parents also play an important part, said Dr Faishal.
By next year, school trips to the Road Safety Community Park in East Coast Park will include a virtual reality (VR) experience to simulate crossing the road, complete with 360-degree videos and an interactive game.
The VR experience for children was unveiled at the launch of the fifth Singapore Road Safety Month on Friday (May 26), alongside two VR titles for motorists and motorcyclists to brush up on road safety at driving centres. They were developed by the Traffic Police and Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), tech giant Samsung and Harley- Davidson.
Mr Adrian Lim, IMDA director of the sectoral innovation group in education, said that VR offers a safe and controlled environment to teach road safety, since "it's impossible to bring 40 kids to the roadside to show them how to cross the road".
But with the VR technology, he said, they would be better able to understand concepts such as the blind spots of heavy vehicle drivers.Assistant Commissioner Devrajan Bala, deputy commander of the Traffic Police, said: "Children will always be a vulnerable group."
Meanwhile, the Road Sensibility VR experience guides motorcyclists in practising safe riding behaviour, while Eyes On The Road puts users in the seat of a driver who gets distracted by his electronic device and is killed in an accident.
They will both be made available at driving centres here by next year.
The VR experiences complement two new posters which warn pedestrians and motorists not to use phones and other electronic devices when crossing roads or driving.
Home Affairs and Health Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin said: "Our efforts to improve road safety have to go beyond infrastructure enhancements like school zones or Silver Zones, and beyond ensuring that drivers keep to speed limits and obey traffic rules."
He said efforts must also include outreach to three groups identified as particularly vulnerable on the roads - motorcyclists, elderly pedestrians and children.
SRSC chairman Bernard Tay said: "Hopefully, children can bring home (these messages) and teach parents and grandparents about road safety." He added: "Eventually, when it (VR) is useful, we will have it for the elderly as well."
Last year, 62 motorcyclists and pillion riders were killed, and more than 5,000 were injured, while accidents involving elderly pedestrians numbered 268 last year, up from 224 previously. In all, there were 141 deaths on the roads and 8,277 accidents with injuries.