Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can EMAS vehicles do a dual role in clearing road obstructions like tree branches?

After a freak wind at around midnight last night, the first thing that came into my mind (other than closing all the windows) is that there will be a big traffic jam tomorrow. Sure enough, it came true.

After this kind of freak wind, it's almost a 99.999% certainty that either the trees will get uprooted, or the branches will be snapped off. And very often, this causes a road block, causing a massive traffic jam.

As Singapore is small, all our roads are built in an "efficient" manner. That means no room for blockages. Somehow, this led me into thinking of the EMAS tow trucks "patrolling" the expressways. It's known that once you stop at the road shoulder with hazard lights, very often an EMAS tow truck will come to you in a matter of minutes. I was thinking that since this system is already in place, why not pay the patrolling EMAS vehicles a bit more, and let them be in-charged of clearing the road branches or provide assistance to clear big uprooted trees while patrolling? I'm sure the tow trucks would be strong enough to move trees since they are able to tow vehicles. It will help tremendously in this case of the midnight freak winds since the branches would have already been cleared in the morning when people goes to work.

Won't that be more proactive, than reactive? Just a thought...


Anonymous said...


I'm Wanying, a Librarian with National Library Board. I came across your interesting enquiry on whether EMAS can clear road obstructions like tree branches.

Well, it is not under the dominion and jurisdiction of the EMAS to clear obstructions such as tree branches as the role of the EMAS, is to "detects accidents, vehicle breakdown and other incidents promptly, ensuring fast response to restore normal traffic flow". Therefore, the domain of the EMAS is to deal solely with vehicles.
I guess they could help to clear traffic obstructions such as tree branches but what constitutes "obstruction" is really ambigious that will open up a can of worms and pretty soon EMAS will have to clear other fallen objects as well.

The clearing of tree branches and fallen trees will come under the domain of National Parks Board. This is because the clearing of trees require a specialized skill as the fallen tree has to be cut in a particular way or else the tree will "spring back".

If you have any other queries, you can always ask the library.
You can email the library at :

Or call the library at 63323255

chantc said...

Hi wanying, I understand what you mean. The terminology used should be the word scope. It's not within their scope to clear the road obstructions.

However, to me, since we already have a system in place to clear "vehicle obstructions", why not use the same system for "road obstructions"? That's my line of thinking...

Might not be EMAS doing the work, but someone using the same system of identifying broken down vehicles. I would think identifying those vehicles and road obstructions are actually quite similar.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...