What you need to know about the Amendments to the Road Traffic Act? (November 2019)

Starting November 2019, there will be new amendments to The Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2019 (“Act”) that was passed in Parliament in July 2019. These new amendments take effect on 1st November and will include provisions such as:

  • Reclassification of offences: Irresponsible driving offences will now be classified into Reckless or Dangerous Driving and Driving Without Care or Reasonable Consideration. This means Dangerous Driving is distinguished from Careless Driving through variables such as whether the driver was in the condition to drive safely, or if the traffic situation required the driver to be extra careful but he/she did not.

    The Act also now categorises offences into four tiers which represent the different levels of harm caused. These include Hurt, Grievous Hurt, Endangers Life and Death.

  • Heavier punishments: For offences including 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, offenders will now face much heavier imprisonment terms and fines as compared to the existing Penal Code and Road Traffic Act.

    Motorists who commit a Dangerous or Careless Driving offence under the influence of any illicit substances will also be liable for additional penalties that will be served consecutively. Repeat offenders can also expect higher maximum penalties compared to first-time offenders.

  • Longer bans: Irresponsible motorists will now be kept off the roads for much longer through the widening of the range of offences that will lead to minimum disqualification (DQ) periods, immediate suspension and vehicle forfeitures. Penalties for driving without a licence, or while suspended will result in increased punishments.

  • A new aggravating factor: The courts will now be able to consider a motorist’s past compounded road traffic offences as aggravating factors for his/her current road traffic offence.

The new provisions to the license suspension and revocation system will take effect in the second half of 2020. Details of this will be announced separately.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from traffic offences, family disputes to high-profile criminal cases. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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