Published: 15 August 2016
Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what are the measures taken to educate drivers, especially of large heavy vehicles, to occupy the most appropriate lane based on their legislated speed limit; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider (i) imposing stiffer penalties on errant drivers of vehicles with legislated speed limit and on their companies if found speeding or driving at the wrong lanes (ii) having greater enforcement on errant drivers who flout speeding limits (iii) introducing the speed limiter blinking lights for vehicles with legislated speed limits and (iv) having a more rigorous course for drivers, especially work permit holders, assigned to drive heavy vehicles.
1. The Traffic Police (TP) adopts a three-pronged strategy of education, engagement and enforcement, to promote safe driving by Heavy Vehicle drivers.
2. On driver education, learner drivers, including those who drive heavy vehicles, are taught to occupy the most appropriate lane as part of the driving school syllabus.
3. Heavy vehicle drivers go through a more rigorous course than other drivers in order to obtain their licence. One must have a Class 3 Driving Licence to apply for a Class 4 Licence, and have a Class 4 Licence to apply for a Class 5 Licence. Beyond the basic driving courses, employers are encouraged to send their heavy vehicle drivers for refresher or defensive driving courses offered by the driving schools.
4. TP regularly engages heavy vehicle drivers on road safety and good driving practices. In 2016, TP partnered stakeholders, including vehicle inspection centres like VICOM, merchant associations, the Workplace Safety & Health Council, and the Ministry of Manpower to carry out an outreach campaign to educate heavy vehicle drivers.
5. TP maintains a tough enforcement stance against errant drivers who flout speed limits and other traffic rules. In addition to fixed speed cameras, from early this year TP deployed mobile speed cameras and new police speed laser cameras to enhance its enforcement at speeding hotspots.
6. Heavy vehicle drivers currently face stiffer penalties for traffic offences as compared to other drivers. Heavy vehicle drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by up to 40 kilometres per hour will be given fines ranging from $160 to $200 and 4 to 8 demerit points. Heavy vehicle drivers caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 kilometres per hour will be charged in court and given 12 to 24 demerit points.
7. In addition, all heavy vehicles with maximum laden weight exceeding 12 tonnes for goods vehicles and 10 tonnes for public service vehicles are required by law to be installed with speed limiters, which restrict their maximum speed to 60 kilometres per hour. Such vehicle owners are required to send their vehicles for annual inspections at registered vehicle inspection centres to ensure that the speed limiters are in working condition. Heavy vehicles with speed limiters are also required to undergo additional speed limiter inspections, if these vehicles were caught speeding. Those caught tampering with their speed limiters can be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned up to 3 months, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $2,000 or imprisoned up to 6 months.
8. TP and LTA are reviewing measures to further curb heavy vehicle traffic violations and will announce the changes in due course.