SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will raise fines for road traffic offences starting Apr 1, in a bid to strengthen deterrence against irresponsible driving.
In a press release on Thursday (Feb 21), MHA said that raising composition sums, or fines, would ensure that they remain effective as a deterrent and curb the uptrend in road traffic offences.
"It is important to nip unsafe driving in the bud, before serious accidents happen and people are killed or hurt," said MHA.
"For road traffic offences that do not involve egregious driving behaviour and do not result in harm caused to others, the offence may be compounded, in lieu of prosecution," the ministry added.
Fines for motorist road traffic offences were last reviewed in 2000.
For committing an offence with zero demerit points such as an illegal U-turn, drivers of light vehicles could be fined S$100, up from the current S$70. Drivers of heavy vehicles committing the same offences could face a fine of S$150, up from S$100.
Offences with three demerit points like failure to wear a seat belt while driving will soon carry the same penalties as those with four demerit points such as crossing double white lines, at S$150 for light vehicles and S$200 for heavy vehicles.
Offences with six demerit points such as driving on the shoulder of an expressway may be punishable by a fine of either S$200 or S$250, while those with eight or nine demerit points, which include driving without due care or reasonable consideration for other road users, may be punishable by a fine of either S$300 or S$400.
Not stopping at a red light, which is an offence with 12 demerit points, carries increased fines of S$400 for drivers of light vehicles, up from S$200, and S$500 for drivers of heavy vehicles, up from S$230.
Fines for offences committed by drivers of heavy vehicles increased more than for drivers of light vehicles, as "heavy vehicles are more likely to cause death or serious injury when they are involved in accidents", said MHA.
This warrants a stronger deterrent, with a greater increase in fines for more serious offences (those attracting eight or more demerit points) compared to the increase for less serious offences.
PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLIST OFFENCES
Fines for pedestrian and cyclist offences will also be raised, for the first time in more than 20 years.
Those who commit general offences, including jaywalking, may be fined S$50, up from the current S$20. Pedestrian offences at an expressway such as entering an expressway tunnel on foot may be punishable by a S$75 fine. The fine was previously set at S$30.
Cyclist offences like not wearing a helmet while riding on the road or failing to stop at a traffic light may also incur a S$75 fine, up from S$20.