Published: 01 March 2021
Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider capping the engine capacity or engine power for vehicles allowed to be driven by new drivers.
1. The Rules provide for different levels of experience requirements, for some categories of vehicles. For example, new motorcyclists are only qualified to drive a Class 2B motorcycle with an engine capacity or power of up to 200cc or 15kW. Individuals who wish to ride a Class 2A motorcycle, which has an engine capacity or power that exceeds 200cc or 15kW, but does not exceed 400cc or 25kW, can only apply for a Class 2A driving licence after they have held a Class 2B driving licence for at least one year. Similarly, individuals who wish to ride a Class 2 motorcycle, which has an engine capacity or power exceeding 400cc or 25kW, can only apply for a Class 2 driving licence after they have held a Class 2A driving licence for at least one year..
2. Individuals can only apply for a Class 4 or 4A driving licence, which allows them to drive heavy vehicles such as big lorries and omnibuses, if they possess a valid Class 3 or 3C driving licence, which allows them to drive vehicles such as cars. Similarly, individuals can only apply for a Class 5 driving licence which allows them to drive heavy vehicles such as cranes, if they possess a valid Class 4 driving licence.
3. The question is whether we need to put in similar rules within Class 3 licences. Class 3 licence holders are allowed to drive vehicles categorised as Class 3 vehicles, regardless of engine capacity or power.
4. Our assessment has been that there is no need to differentiate, within Class 3. There is no evidence that new drivers will not be able to handle vehicles classified as Class 3 or that engine capacity has been a key reason for accidents. The evidence is that primary reasons for accidents have been other factors, including negligence, recklessness, and driving while under the influence of intoxicants.
5. In general, our roads have become safer over the last ten years, with road traffic fatalities decreasing from 195 in 2011, to 118 in 2019, and 85 in 2020. MHA will continue to study how we can make our roads even safer.