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Why The Discretionary Right Turn Has To Go

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Last Updated: 22 June 2020

CEO Message: Why we support an end to the discretionary right turn

This is a campaign that’s particularly close to our hearts at Budget Direct Insurance and I’m grateful that it gives me an opportunity to highlight one of the most hazardous hot-spots on our roads – THE DISCRETIONARY RIGHT TURN. Such junctions allow drivers to make a right turn as long as there is a suitable gap in oncoming traffic.

A number of fatalities and serious injuries have occurred at these junctions which could have been so easily avoided if motorists had taken extra care. I’d like to mention some areas of concern that create enormous potential for it all to go horribly wrong so quickly and easily;

  • As a driver waiting to turn right at these junctions you are focused on oncoming traffic looking for a gap to appear, which means you may not be fully aware of pedestrians crossing the road you’re about to move into.
  • You may feel pressure to move forward from the cars waiting in line behind you or you’re simply in a hurry.
  • You nose your way forward to see for oncoming traffic and then a vehicle that was previously hidden suddenly appears. 
  • You speed up to get out of their way and you are then faced with a pedestrian crossing the road.

In this scenario what are your options? You slam on your brakes to avoid hitting the pedestrian that is crossing and then the oncoming car crashes into you. Or, if you manage to see the pedestrian at all, you spot them too late and hit them.

This frightening turn of events is often played out on our roads at these discretionary right turns. The result is many senseless deaths and injuries.

Today as part of Singapore’s Road Safety campaign, we are urging all motorists to check, double-check and triple-check when approaching these hazardous junctions. Please remember to slow down, be patient and keep a proper look-out for oncoming traffic as well as pedestrians who are crossing.

We wholeheartedly support the Land Transport Authority (LTA) plan to remove discretionary right turns at most traffic junctions by 2023, which will mean motorists can turn right only when there is a green arrow. The sooner this is implemented the better.

Please drive safely and thank you again for choosing Budget Direct Insurance.

Simon Birch
CEO, Budget Direct Insurance

More About CEO, Simon

simon birch

Simon Birch likes honest answers to tough questions. He admits that, for many years, working in insurance caused him to hate the industry. Instead of walking away, he’s spent his life fighting for a better deal for the people who work with him and customers who buy insurance.

Budget Direct Insurance Singapore is Simon’s honest answer. A smarter, direct to consumer, online insurance company. Exciting to work for and much better for customers who want excellent service at affordable prices. He explains:

“We don’t keep costs down by offering a pared back service or a minimalist customer experience. We work smarter and harder. You save money because we don’t pay any agent fees, we avoid risky drivers, we make use of the latest technology, and we invest in our customer service and claims people – all of whom are based right here in Singapore."

Prior to this, Simon is best known as CEO of his previous brainchild, DirectAsia.com which launched in 2010. It was one of the first companies to offer online insurance, direct to the customer in Singapore. DirectAsia.com expanded into Hong Kong in 2012 and Thailand in 2013. The business was acquired by Hiscox in 2014, at which time it had over 54,000 customers and employed around 140 people.

Today, Simon is extremely proud to be part of an international insurance group that includes Compare the Market in the UK, Budget Direct in Australia and Telesure in South Africa. The group is very supportive of their businesses. In Simon’s words: “There’s significant value to that stability and support.”