25 Oct 2019

Amendments to the Road Traffic Act to take effect from 1 November 2019

 

1. The Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2019 (“Act”) was passed in Parliament on 8 July 2019.

 

2. The following provisions will take effect on 1 November 2019:

 

a. Irresponsible driving offences will be classified into Reckless or Dangerous Driving (“Dangerous Driving”) and Driving Without Due Care or Reasonable Consideration (“Careless Driving”). Dangerous Driving is distinguished from Careless Driving through the motorist’s manner of driving - for example, whether he had driven even though he should have known he was not in the condition to drive safely, and when the road situation required the motorist to exercise extra care but he did not. The Act further categorises the offences into four tiers which delineate different levels of harm caused, i.e. Death, Grievous Hurt, Hurt and Endangers Life.

 

b. Heavier imprisonment terms and fines will be imposed for offences where the motorist exhibits egregious driving behavior.[1] Each Dangerous or Careless Driving offence will have higher maximum imprisonment terms and fines, where applicable, as compared to the existing penalties under the Penal Code and Road Traffic Act. Any motorist who commits a Dangerous or Careless Driving offence under the influence of alcohol or drugs (“DUI”) will be liable for additional penalties, which will run consecutively.

 

c. Repeat offenders will be liable for higher maximum penalties compared to first-time offenders.

 

d. Irresponsible motorists will be kept off the roads for a longer period and in a more timely manner through the broadening of the range of offences for which minimum disqualification (“DQ”) periods, immediate suspension, and vehicle forfeiture will apply. In addition, penalties for driving without a licence, or driving while under DQ or licence suspension will be increased.

 

e. The courts will be able to consider a motorist’s past compounded road traffic offences as an aggravating factor in sentencing a person convicted of a road traffic offence.

 

3. The provisions of the Act pertaining to the licence suspension and revocation system will take effect in the second half of 2020. More details on this will be announced separately.

 

4. For more information, please refer to:

 

Press Release for First Reading of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill:

 

Second Reading Speeches on the Road (Amendment) Bill:

 

 

Wrap Up Speeches on the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill:

 



[1] Examples of egregious driving include drink driving, driving against the flow of traffic, swerving across lanes at high speed, and speeding past pedestrian crossings when one does not have the right of way.

 

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