Traffic Offences and Penalties in Singapore

Singaporeans are known for being orderly in all walks of life and the discipline is quite evident on the roads. The Land Transport Authority of Singapore, which is responsible for managing the movement of vehicles on the roads along with the Traffic Police have enforced many rules and regulations. If a driver has committed a traffic offence, he/she will be sent a Notice of Traffic Offence (NTO). Traffic rules and regulations also apply to motorcycle owners and they will also be penalised if they violate any rules.

Fines for different kinds of traffic offences typically ranges from S$50 to S$300 that include jaywalking and littering. Traffic violations in Singapore are mainly divided into two categories: violations with demerit points and those without demerit points. Violations with demerit points will get accumulated and attract heavier penalty. If your accumulated demerit points go up to 24 within 12 months, you are likely to be indicted as a repeat offender. Let us now take a look at the various traffic offences and penalties imposed on people who violate these rules and regulations:

Illegal parking

With a huge dearth of parking space in Singapore, illegal parking is naturally one of the biggest offences that Singaporeans commit. You will be fined for parking your vehicle at different places. If you are a repeat offender, the fine amount will be larger for certain offences.  Apart from being fined, your motor insurance will be at serious risk if you are involved in an accident while illegally parked in Singapore.

  1. Halting on a flyover

  2. As many flyovers in Singapore are winding, it is very dangerous to even slow your vehicle down as most people ignore the speed limit of 50 kmph. You will be fined S$70 for parking a light vehicle and S$100 for parking a heavy vehicle on a flyover. Parking on a gradient that leads to the flyover attracts the same fine.

  3. Halting in an underpass

  4. As vehicles are not expected to change lanes while passing through an underpass, parking here can be very dangerous. You will be fined S$70 for parking a light vehicle and S$100 for parking a heavy vehicle in an underpass. Parking on a gradient leading to an underpass also carries the same fine.

  5. Parking your vehicle within nine metres of a bus stop

  6. You will be fined S$70 for parking a light vehicle and S$100 for parking a heavy vehicle within 9 metres of a bus stop or bus bay. However, you will get a free pass if your car has broken down or if you have a flat tyre.

  7. Halting on the right side of the road

  8. As Singaporeans drive on the left, halting on the right side of the road will obstruct traffic coming from the opposite direction. You will be fined S$70 for parking a light vehicle and S$100 for parking a heavy vehicle on the right side of the road.

Breaching the speed limit for vehicles

Driving over the speed limit can lead to fatal accidents not only for people inside the car but also for people on the road. The table below shows the speed limits for different vehicles at different places on the road in Singapore:

Vehicle Tunnels Roads Expressways
Cars and motorcycle 50-80 kmph 50 kmph 70-90 kmph
Light commercial vehicle 50-70 kmph 50 kmph 60-70 kmph
Buses and coaches 50-60 kmph 50 kmph 60 kmph

Driving on bus lanes

Singapore introduced a bus lane system four decades ago. This dedicated lane for buses gives them more importance on the roads. Buses can exit or enter stops more easily, thus giving quicker rides to travellers. Besides scheduled buses, there are a few other vehicles that can enter the dedicated bus lane such as cycles, police vehicles, emergency service vehicles and non-scheduled buses. During restricted hours, other vehicles are not allowed to enter the bus lane. As per Rule 8, driving or parking your vehicle in the bus lane in the course of regulated hours will carry a minimum penalty of S$130.

Failure to renew vehicle loan and road tax

All vehicles registered in Singapore must have legal vehicle licence or road tax at all times. Moreover, these vehicles must have lawful insurance cover. It is very important to renew your vehicle license and insurance before they expire. As per the Singapore Motor Vehicles Act, if someone is found driving a vehicle in Singapore without insurance coverage, he/she will be guilty of a felony and liable upon conviction to a term in prison for up to 3 months, a fine of up to S$1,000, or both.

If you get sentenced for this crime, you will also be debarred from holding or getting a driving license for 12 months after your conviction date. There are numerous exceptions to this law and you will not be pronounced guilty of this crime under the following conditions:

  • If the vehicle in question is not yours or is in your custody under an agreement of a loan.
  • If you are using the vehicle in the course of your work.
  • If you sincerely were not aware of the necessity of a valid insurance policy for the vehicle.

Failure to install seat belts on small buses

Small buses (seating capacity for 15 passengers or less) that transport school kids must only have seats that face forward with folding shoulder belts. All kids and passengers on board such buses must put on the right child restraints at all times. Bus conductors and drivers who board such buses must make sure that all passengers are correctly seated. Those who do not conform will be penalised with a fine of S$120 and awarded three demerit points.

Tampering with the exhaust system of your vehicle

The exhaust system of a vehicle consists of a muffler, catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold. These parts combine to form the vehicle’s exhaust emission control system. These parts of the exhaust contribute to the emission standards required for all vehicles in Singapore. Any changes made to the exhaust system, therefore, requires the approval of the LTA. If you tamper with the exhaust system of your vehicle without LTA’s approval, you may face a fine of up to S$1,000 or imprisonment for 3 months upon conviction.

Transporting workers on trucks

As per the Road Traffic Act of Singapore, trucks are prohibited from being used as private passenger transport. However, the act provides an exception for owners who use the truck to transport their labourers to and from their house and workplace, or between places of work. This exception is allowed subject to the following two conditions: The truck must not travel over 60 kmph and the front seat(s) in the truck must be used before labourers can be seated on the rear carriage.

Improper vehicle license plate

There are different types of vehicle license plates in Singapore. The licence plate varies depending on the category of the vehicle and its planned usage. Here are the requirements for installing a proper license plate:

  • It should have the registration number and index mark.
  • The registration number and index mark should be suffixed with an alphabet to serve as the official reference.
  • The license plate must be clearly visible and distinguishable and should be placed on the front and back.

Car owners with inappropriate licence plates can face a penalty of S$1,000 or imprisonment for three months upon conviction. The LTA may disqualify you from driving which is the heaviest penalty, under the following circumstances:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Having no insurance coverage for your vehicle.
  • Accumulating more than 12 demerit points during your period of probation.
  • Driving without a valid driving license.
  • Getting caught while driving without displaying the P-Plate for drivers who are on probation.

Traffic violations mentioned above are not the only offences that will attract a ticket from the LTA. Modifying your vehicles illegally can also be very expensive – with penalties of up to S$1,000 or 3 months of imprisonment. Your insurer also may not cover any damages done to your vehicle if you modify your car.

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