Published: 15 August 2016
Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in light of the increasing trend of roadblock evasions (a) how is the Ministry protecting police officers at such roadblocks; (b) how can road users be better protected during consequent car chases; and (c) whether there is a need to review the current legislation to deter roadblock evasions.
1. Police conduct road blocks to deter and detect crime. The safety of police officers and the general public is an important consideration in the planning and execution of road blocks. Light beacons and signs are also placed ahead of the road blocks to give motorists advance notice to slow down their vehicles, while officers don reflective vests to make them more prominent to road users. Police vehicles are deployed in a manner to cause approaching vehicles to slow down safely.
2. The vast majority of motorists who encounter a road block comply with the directions of the Police. In the event of an evasion, Police will pursue the vehicle with full consideration for the safety of road users. Police will alert road users through the use of sirens and blinkers. Members of public are advised to give way to Police vehicles in a safe manner. Depending on the circumstances, Police will terminate the pursuit if it becomes too dangerous.
3. Road block evasion is irresponsible and dangerous. As such, my Ministry amended the Police Force Act last year to increase the penalties for such offences. Offenders can be fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed up to one year. This is aligned with the penalty for the Penal Code offence of rash driving or riding which endangers the life or personal safety of others. Motorists who evade Police road blocks or otherwise endanger the lives of others will be dealt with firmly under our laws.