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Drivers: 8 Traffic Violations With a Jail Term

4 min read

Singapore’s regulations and laws are notorious for being one of the harshest in the world.

Foreigners’ first words when asked what they know of Singapore is usually either that we “can’t even chew gum” or have laws that “execute people”.

Our traffic laws are no exception.

TL;DR: Singapore’s traffic violation laws could grant you a jail term.

Traffic ViolationFine Amount (SGD)Jail Term
Use of mobile communication device while driving1,000≤6 months
Tampering with off-peak-car coupons or not displaying a valid licenseUp to 20,000≤12 months
Reckless drivingUp to 5,000≤12 months
Parallel parking in opposite / wrong direction of traffic1,0003 months
Ignoring bus lane timings1,0003 months
Irresponsible use of fog lights1,0003 months
Slowing down on the right(fast) lane1,0003 months
Illegal Modifications1,0003 months

Cars in Singapore already cost a bomb, don’t add to that cost!

1. Use of mobile communication device while driving

Possible fine: Up to $1000

Possible jail term: Up to 6 months or both

The offender will be prosecuted in court and may face a driving disqualification and forfeiture of mobile phone. 

2. Tampering with off-peak-car coupons or not displaying a valid license

Possible fine: Up to $20,000

Possible jail term: Up to 12 months

Drivers of off-peak-cars (OPCs) are required to utilize off-peak-car coupons while driving, and display a valid day license. Failure to do so grants you a fine and/or jail time.

For using an OPC without displaying a valid day licence, an offender can be fined up to $10,000.

For tampering with the day licence, the penalty is a fine not exceeding $20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both.

About one-third of those convicted were found to have tampered with the licences – a more serious offence.
The punishment is a fine of up to $10,000 for the first offence. Subsequent convictions carry fines of up to $20,000, a maximum jail term of 12 months, or both.

They also face an additional charge of driving without a valid supplementary licence, which carries a maximum fine of $5,000 for first-time offenders.

On average, the tamperers were fined $8,000 – equivalent to almost half their tax savings. Those who drive without a supplementary licence or an invalid one face fines of up to $5,000, which can double for repeat offenders.

3. Reckless driving (in layman terms: “Anyhow cut here cut there, speed up then slow down, tailgating”)

Possible fine: Up to $5000

Possible jail term: 12 months

Based on the elaboration by Singapore Legal Advice, these are the 3 factors which generally affect the culpability of a driver for dangerous driving are:

  1. Manner of driving
  2. Circumstances of driving
  3. Reasons for driving

The court has stated that where the harm caused and the driver’s culpability are both low, a fine would usually be sufficient.

However, the court will usually impose a jail term where the harm caused and the driver’s culpability are both high.

4. Parallel parking in opposite / wrong direction of traffic

Possible fine: Up to $1000

Possible jail term: 3 months

Many people are still left puzzled about this one. Parking against the flow of traffic is illegal in Singapore because it is assumed that the driver had first driven against the flow of traffic to get to the parking spot.

While this falls under the category of dangerous driving, the penalties are rather severe.

5. Ignoring bus lane timings

Possible fine: Up to $1000

Possible jail term: 3 months

DaysOperation Hours (Normal)Operation Hours (Full-Day)
Mon - Fri7:30am-9:30am
& 5:00pm-8:00pm
7:30am-8:00pm
SaturdayN/A7:30am-8:00pm
Sunday & Public HolidaysN/AN/A

It’s tempting to “cheat” a bit to get ahead of a congested road, but there are often traffic cameras to monitor bus lanes at major roads, or you might just get a surprise attack but a sneaky office armed with a DSLR waiting to photograph offenders.

6. Irresponsible use of fog lights

Possible fine: Up to $1000

Possible jail term: 3 months

Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with it. LTA has set certain standards on the use of fog-lights while driving. Turning on your fog-lights may cause a bad glare and distract the driver in front of you, especially in rainy weather.

7. Slowing down on the right(overtaking) lane

Possible fine: Up to $1000

Possible jail term: 3 months

While it is not wrong to drive within the speed limit on the overtaking lane, it is an offence to intentionally slow down on the fast lane in order to intimidate or cause danger to other drivers or drive at unreasonably slow speeds.

8. Illegal modifications

LTA has a set of guidelines for vehicle modifications to ensure that standards for road safety and vehicle exhaust gas and noise emissions are not compromised, for the benefits of vehicle owners, other road users and our environment. Check against this list if you are thinking of “zenging” your car!

In Singapore, you could get issued a fine from the Housing Development Board(HDB), Traffic Police(TP), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA),

See other violations that could get you a hefty fine and/or demerit points:

ERP Fines

OffenceDemerit pointsFine
Passing through ERP gantry without properly inserted
CashCard in IU or one with insufficient monetary value
-ERP charge + $10
Evasion of ERP tolls4$130 – $160

LTA Fines

OffenceDemerit pointsFine
Parking when there is a “no parking” sign$70 / $110
Stopping when there is a “no stopping” sign$70 / $110
Waiting when there is a “no waiting” sign$70 / $110
Stopping a vehicle in a manner which causes unnecessary obstruction to other road users$70 / $110
Not stopping your vehicle parallel to or close to the edge of the left hand side of the road$70 / $110
Stopping your vehicle facing a direction that traffic cannot legally move in$70 / $110
Stopping your vehicie on the right side of a two-way road$70 / $110
Parking your vehicle on any road between the edge of a roadway and any portion of unbroken white lines or unbroken double white lines$70 / $110
Parking wherever there are unbroken double yellow lines or unbroken double yellow lines$70 / $110
Parking on a grass verge of the road$70 / $110
Parking within 6 metres of a junction$70 / $110
Parking within 9 metres of a bus stop$70 / $110
Parking within 3 metres of a fire hydrant$70 / $110
Parking on a slip road$70 / $110
Parking on a filter lane$70 / $110
Parking on a flyover$70 / $110
Parking in an underpass$70 / $110
Parking on a ramp leading to a flyover or underpass$70 / $110
Parking on the footway of a road$70 / $110
Letting your vehicle remain in any position that might cause undue inconvenience or danger to other road users-$300 / $450
Stopping or parking at a taxi stop or public taxi stand-$50 / $80
Stopping on a central divider of an expressway-$70 / $110
Parking within pedestrian crossing3$120 / $180
Parking within Demerit Points No Parking Zone or footpath3$120 / $180
Parking abreast to another vehicle causing unnecessary obstruction3$120 / $180
Causing vehicle to be stopped in zebra controlled area3$120 / $180
Stopping on carriageway, shoulder or verge of expressway4$130 / $200

HDB Parking Fines

OffenceFine for motorcycles / cars
Parking anywhere but a parking lot$25 / $50
Using parking place for unauthorised purpose$80 / $80
Failure to pay parking charge at the payment station prior to leaving parking place$25 / $50
Parking in parking place not designated for your use$25 / $50
Drawing / driving / pushing / parking in a disorderly manner without regard for the safety of other vehicles and persons$25 / $50
Pushing / removing motor vehicles without the permission of owner or driver$25 / $50
Parking vehicle in parallel parking lot in any direction except the one in which traffic is moving lawfully$25 / $50
Failing to obey signs in the parking place$25 / $50
Parking beyond boundaries of parking lot thereby causing obstruction$25 / $50
Entering parking place other than through the access provided for that purpose$25 / $50
Leaving parking place other than through exit provided for that purpose$25 / $50
Repairing / allowing repairs to a motor vehicle in a parking place$80 / $80
Using motor vehicle within a parking place for sale or promoting the sale of goods of any kind$80 / $80
Causing / allowing vehicle to be washed in a parking place$80 / $80
Failing to obey lawful directions given by Parking Wardens$50 / $50
Parking in a season parking place without valid season parking subscription$25 / $50
Unauthorised parking in reserved parking lot or parking without displaying an authorised label$25/$200 / $50/$200
Displaying any authorisation that has been altered or erased or contain any other irregularity therein indicating that it has been tampered with$300 / $300
Failure to produce the authorisation on demand by the Superintendent for inspection and/ or retention$300 / $300
No parking coupon / parking session$8 / $30
Selecting wrong car park (of a lower parking charge) for parking session$8 / $30
Selecting wrong vehicle class (of a lower parking charge) for parking sessionNA / $30
Parking after expiry of parking session:
Half-hour or less
Exceeding half-hour to one hour
Exceeding one hour
$6 / $12
$10 / $20
$20 / $40
Parking without displaying valid parking coupon(s) or displaying insufficient amount of parking coupon$8 / $30
Parking and displaying invalid parking coupon(s)$8 / $30
Coupons not clearly displayed from front or offside of vehicleNA / $30
Displaying coupon(s) in which time of commencement of parking indicated is later than the actual time when the motor vehicle was first parkedNA / $30
Displaying coupon(s) that has/have been altered, erased or contain any other irregularity therein indicating that the coupon(s) has/have been tampered with$80/$400 / $80/$400
Parking after the expiry of the parking coupon(s) to meet the prescribed parking charges:
Half-hour or less
Exceeding half-hour to one hour
Exceeding one hour
NA / $6
NA / $10
NA / $20
Failing to produce coupon(s) on demand by the Superintendent for inspection and/ or retention$400 / $400
Illegal parking in common HDB property$100 / $100

TP Fines

OffencePenalty
Failing to submit disposal documents
of a deregistered vehicle
Charged in court, up to $2,000 fine or 3
months’ imprisonment
Driving/using/allowing usage
of a deregistered vehicle
Charged in court, up to $2,000 fine or 3
months’ imprisonment
Illegal modificationsCharged in court, up to $1,000 fine or 3
months’ imprisonment
Improper licence plateCharged in court, up to $1,000 fine or 3 months’ imprisonment
SpeedingBetween 6:30am and 12am:
1-20km/h – $130 fine / 4 demerit points
21 – 30km/h – $150 / 6 demerit points
31 – 40km/h – $180 / 8 demerit points
41 and beyond – charged in court
Between 12am and 6:30am:
1-20km/h – $160 fine / 6 demerit points
21 – 30km/h – $180 / 8 demerit points
31 – 40km/h – $240 / 10 demerit points
41 and beyond – charged in court
Reckless or dangerous drivingCharged in court, up to $5,000 fine or
imprisonment of up to 12 months or both
Driving without due care or reasonable considerationCharged in court, up to $1,000 fine or
imprisonment for up to 6 months or both (first offence)
Use of mobile communication device while drivingCharged in court, up to $1,000 or
imprisonment for up to 6 months or both
Driving while under the influence
of drinks or drugs
Charged in court, fine of $1,000 to $5,000 or
imprisonment of up to 6 months (first offence)
Not wearing seat belts$120 fine and 3 demerit points if it is
driver who is not wearing seatbelt
Not stopping in case of accident that
results in damage or injury to any person,
vehicle, structure or animal
If serious injury or death is caused to
another person, charged in court and up to $3,000 fine, imprisonment of
up to 12 months or both (first offence)

URA Fines

OffenceFine
Not displaying coupons in a clear and visible manner.
Displaying 2 or more coupons where the time of commencement indicated on the subsequent coupon did not run immediately after the parking period indicated in the prior coupon
Parking after the expiration of the parking period indicated on the coupon(s) displayed / Parking after the expiration of a parking session
$6 – $40
Parking without displaying valid or sufficient coupons
Parking without a valid parking session
$6 – $50
Displaying a coupon in which the time of commencement of parking indicated on the coupon is later than the actual time when the parking started$30 – $40
Displaying a coupon that has any alteration, erasure or other irregularity – indicating it has been tampered with$50 – $400
Failing to produce any coupon displayed on a parked vehicle for inspection and/or retention by the Superintendent or any authorised personnelCharged in court
Not parking in a parking lot
Drawing, driving, pushing or parking a vehicle in a disorderly manner
Failure to obey signs displayed in a parking place
Parking in a season parking lot without valid season parking authorisation
Parking beyond the boundaries of a parking lot or parking/stopping in a way that causes obstruction
$25 – $80
Unauthorised parking in a reserved lot (e.g. a handicapped lot)$25 – $200

Saw a flash go off in your rear-view mirror? Here’s how to check if you really kena fined:

In recent years, traffic police fines have shifted from being administered through leaving a slip under your wipers, to digitally notifying you. Besides just posting an official letter to your home address, they also keep an updated record of all fines on their database, which you can access to inquire about your traffic violations.

Say you haven’t received anything from the traffic police but are certain you’ve committed a traffic offence? You can check online by logging in to the Traffic Police’s EDDIES system with your SingPass to view any pending cases that the Traffic Police might currently be investigating.

In the event of more serious traffic offences that warrant a court hearing, you will receive notification of the time of your hearing.

Based on personal experience: how to appeal when you receive parking or traffic fines in Singapore

Except if you’re loaded, or rather not go through the trouble, you should always try to appeal your case. You might be able to get your fine waived if you appeal, especially if in the case of parking fines or less serious traffic infractions.

It is usually quite easy for first-timers to appeal your way out of a parking fine. Just access the website of the relevant government agency (eg. LTA, HDB, URA) and submit your appeal online, explaining why you faced factors that forced you to commit the parking crime, and will not repeat the same mistake again.

Once you have appealed, you will not be required to pay the fine until the outcome of your appeal has been made known.

Paying traffic fines in Singapore 

Paying traffic fines is really not a tedious process.

In case you’ve not caught up on the stupid recent dance-along-with-a-moving-car trend, we heard that this can not only get you thrown in jail but also exiled to an isolated island to repent:

#fakenews

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