Speech by Mr. Louis Ng Kok Kwang, MP for Nee Soon GRC at the Second Reading of the Transport Safety Investigations Bill [Bill no. 28/2018]
Sir, I stand in support of this bill.
The work of the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) is notable for its independence and objectivity, and its focus on preventing future accidents and incidents rather than apportioning blame.
These characteristics allow it to carry out its existing functions effectively through the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) and Marine Safety Investigation Branch (MSIB).
As such, it would be beneficial for the TSIB’s investigative powers to extend to the two other modes of transport, rail and LTA contracted buses, as proposed in this Bill.
This will allow a greater proportion of transport users to benefit from the robust work of the TSIB.
I would like to raise a few short clarifications with regard to the Bill.
Recovery of costs and expenses of investigation
First, I would like to clarify a point with regard to the recovery of costs and expenses of investigation, under clause 18 of the Bill.
The clause states “the Director of the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau may recover from the owner or operator of a transport vehicle or both, a reasonable part of the remuneration of an investigator; and all expenses reasonably incurred by an investigator in the exercise of any powers.”
Can I clarify with the Minister under what circumstances would these costs be borne by the TSIB, and under what circumstances would it be borne by transport owners or operators?
Powers to detain vehicles
Second, I would like to clarify a point with regard to the powers to detain vehicles, under clause 30 of the Bill.
The clause states that the director of the TSIB has the power to detain a transport vehicle on reasonable grounds, which includes the powers to stop, move and take control of the vehicle.
The clause also states that the Director must not detain a transport vehicle under this section for longer than is necessary and reasonable to exercise any other powers under this Act.
Can I clarify if there is a maximum duration for such detainment?
Lastly, I would like to clarify a point with regard to the general exemptions of the Bill, under clause 47. The clause states that the Minister may, by order in the Gazette, exempt any person or class of persons or any transport vehicle or class of transport vehicles from all or any provisions of this Act.
Can the Minister clarify if there are certain classes of transport vehicles that are currently in contemplation for exemption? Are there specific circumstances, which would govern an exemption that can be made known in the Bill?
Sir, notwithstanding the above clarifications, I stand in support of this Bill.