Published: 10 January 2017
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether Traffic Police (TP) intends to require licensed drivers to notify TP when they develop prescribed diseases or disabilities under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Driving Licences) Rules after being issued with driving licences so that TP may assess and determine whether their driving licences should be suspended or revoked.
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether Traffic Police (TP) intends to require a medical professional to inform TP of licensed drivers whom he/she has examined and are reasonably believed to be suffering from prescribed diseases or disabilities under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Driving Licences) Rules so that TP may assess and determine whether the drivers' driving licences should be suspended or revoked.
1. The prescribed disabilities and diseases are listed in the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Driving Licences) Rules. Examples include mental disorders and epilepsy. The list was drafted in consultation with relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health and the Singapore Medical Association, and this list was last reviewed in 2015.
2. Drivers should not drive if they develop diseases or disabilities that impede their driving abilities, or if they are unwell and have trouble operating their motor vehicles. Instead, they should get an appointed driver to assist in their commute or use public transport. However, if they decide to drive and subsequently get involved in an accident, they would be liable for having committed a negligent act under the Penal Code, or potentially a rash act if it is proven that they were involved in the accident due to their diseases or disabilities.
3. Currently, the Traffic Police (TP) require applicants for the Provisional Driving Licence to declare that they are medically fit to drive. TP also require drivers aged 65 and above to undergo medical examinations to determine their fitness to drive.
4. TP will also subject licence holders to medical examinations to ascertain their fitness to drive, if accidents or other investigations reveal that they might have disabilities or diseases that impede their driving abilities. Drivers who fail the medical examination will have their driving licence revoked. Over the past four years, TP have revoked 69 driving licences due to such disabilities or diseases.
5. We understand the MP's concerns. Not many countries currently compel medical doctors to report such disabilities and diseases to the traffic authority, and requiring individuals to report such disabilities and diseases on their own may have limited effect practically. We will study the practices of other jurisdictions, and what are the best options for us. We have to be mindful that our regulations strike a balance in ensuring that drivers continue to be fit to drive on the roads, without imposing overly onerous reporting requirements.