What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
In 2017, a total of 762 speeding-related accidents were recorded. Along with an increase in red-light running violations by 32.5% from 2016 to 2017, speeding remains a grave concern in Singapore.
In order to possibly reduce the number of speeding-related accidents on the road, this article aims to inform drivers of the respective speed limits they should abide by and the consequences of speeding, in Singapore.
What is the Speed Limit in Singapore?
In Singapore, the speed limit ranges from 30 km/h to 90 km/h depending on the:
- Characteristics of the road. If a particular stretch of road contains numerous contours and turns, the speed limit for the road would be lower.
- Profile of road users. If the road users are mostly elderly or young children, the speed limit for the road would be lower.
- Surrounding land use. If the road is situated in a residential area, the speed limit for the road would be lower.
For example, according to section 2(2) of the Road Traffic (Restriction of Speed on Roads) Notification, the speed of all motor vehicles in a designated school zone must not exceed 40 km/h on any day between:
- 6.30am and 7.45am;
- 12pm and 2.30pm; and
- 6.00pm and 7.00pm.
This cap on the speed limit in a school zone also applies when a school event is being carried out.
In addition, according to section 2(3) of the Road Traffic Notification, the speed of all motor vehicles travelling in a silver zone must not exceed 40 km/h.
A silver zone is any part of the road in between traffic signs that look like this:
For normal roads, the speed limit is indicated by the respective speed limit signs and it usually ranges from 30 km/h to 70 km/h.
For expressways and tunnels, the speed limit ranges between 80 km/h and 90 km/h.
In the event where the speed limit sign is absent, the speed of all vehicles must be limited to 50 km/h. However, this is subject to any restrictions posed by the Road Traffic Notification (as mentioned above).
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also imposed speed limits for the different types of vehicles on the road:
|Type of Vehicle||Speed Limit on Roads||Speed Limit on Expressways||Speed Limit in Tunnels|
|Cars & Motorcycles||50 km/h||70-90 km/h||50-80 km/h|
|Buses & Coaches||50 km/h||60 km/h||50-60 km/h|
|Light Commercial Vehicles (This includes light goods vehicles and small buses up to 3.5 tonnes and a seating capacity of up to 15 passengers)||50 km/h||60-70 km/h||50-70 km/h|
Are there Any Exceptions to the Speed Limit?
According to section 3 of the Road Traffic Notification, the following types of vehicles are exempted from adhering strictly to the speed limit due to the nature of their responsibilities:
- Fire engines
- Any motor vehicles owned by the government and used by the Singapore Police Force or the Singapore Civil Defence Force for the purpose of executing their functions.
What are the Penalties for Speeding?
For minor traffic offences such as exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or less, composition fines might be imposed in lieu of court prosecution.
Your ticket will specify “offer of composition” and you must pay the fine on time at an AXS machine. AXS machines are available island-wide.
If the offer of composition has expired, you will have to plead guilty to the traffic offence (assuming you do not intend to contest the charge) and pay a court fine that is higher than the initial composition fine.
This can be done through the Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS) on any AXS machine.
The fine may range from $130 to $170, depending on how much you have exceeded the speed limit by.
For serious traffic offences such as exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h, offenders will be prosecuted in court.
For repeat offenders who have been convicted at least 2 times for exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h, enhanced penalties under section 67(A) of the Road Traffic Act may be imposed.
In this case, the court may exercise its discretion to sentence a repeat offender to up to 3 times the punishment that he would otherwise be liable for, subject to a jail term of up to 10 years. On top of that, repeat offenders who cause serious injury or death to another person may also be caned up to 6 strokes.
How and when are demerit points awarded?
Demerit points are awarded for speeding offences.
The following table shows the number of demerit points awarded for the respective traffic offences:
|Speed Limit Exceeded By||Demerit Points Awarded|
|1 to 20 km/h||4|
|21 to 30 km/h||6|
|31 to 40 km/h||8|
|41 to 50 km/h||12|
|51 to 60 km/h||18|
|More than 60 km/h||24|
After every traffic offence committed, drivers will receive a notification letter informing him of his demerit point status.
Revocation/suspension of driving licence
If you are a new or probationary driver, your driving licence will be revoked and become invalid should you accumulate 13 or more demerit points during your 1-year probation period.
You would have to re-attempt both the traffic police theory and practical tests to obtain a new driving licence.
For non-probationary drivers with no previous suspension records, your driving licence will become liable for suspension for up to 12 weeks if you accumulate 24 or more demerit points within 24 consecutive months.
For non-probationary drivers who have been previously suspended at least once, your driving licence will be liable for suspension for up to 36 months (depending on how many times you have previously been suspended) if you accumulate 12 or more demerit points within 12 consecutive months.
The following table shows the driving licence suspension periods for the respective demerits points awarded:
|Suspensions||Suspension Period||Criteria for Suspension (Demerit Points Accumulated)|
|1st Suspension||12 weeks||24 points or more within 24 months|
|2nd Suspension||24 weeks||12 points or more within 12 months|
|3rd Suspension||12 months|
|4th Suspension||24 months|
|5th Suspension (onwards)||36 months|
Where the offence of speeding involves illegal car racing
From 30 June 2021, persons who promote or take part in illegal car racing will face enhanced penalties. First-time offenders will be jailed for up to 1 year and fined up to $5,000. Repeat offenders will be jailed for up to 2 years and fined up to $10,000.
The court may also decide whether to forfeit the car used if it belongs to someone else and was used without the owner’s consent.
Can Demerit Points be Removed from My Record?
Demerit points can be removed from your record if you avoid committing the offence of speeding for 12 continuous months after your last speeding offence.
Drivers can also have 4 demerit points removed from their record if they successfully complete the Safe Driving Course (SDC). Drivers who qualify for the SDC can sign up for it, for a maximum of 2 times within 10 years.
However, there must have been at least a 1-year gap between each successful completion of the SDC.
The eligibility criteria are as follows:
The driver must:
- Hold a valid driving licence
- Have accumulated 8 to 23 demerit points (if there is no existing suspension record) or 4 to 11 demerit points (if there is an existing suspension record)
The driver must not:
- Be a probationary driver
- Be liable for suspension of his driving licence or under court disqualification of driving licence
- Have completed SDC in the past year and not more than 1 SDC in the past 10 years
Penalties for illegal racing
Will Speeding Result in a Criminal Record?
Speeding charges will not leave a criminal record. This is because speeding offences are not subjected to registration under the Registration of Criminals Act.
Can My Criminal Record be Spent?
Should you be convicted of death by reckless or dangerous driving in the course of speeding, your criminal record can be spent after a period of 5 crime-free years.
This is unless you are disqualified from having your criminal record spent.
If your criminal record is spent, you are deemed to not have a criminal record.
Will I Have to Declare My Speeding Offence in Job Applications?
Typically, you will not need to declare your speeding offence in job applications as such offences are non-registrable and will not go on your criminal record.
However, if you are convicted of causing death by dangerous/reckless driving in the course of speeding, you must declare your offence unless your criminal record has been spent (see above).
Also note that, even after your criminal record has been spent, you must declare your speeding offence, if you are asked whether you have ever been convicted in a court of law.
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