Speeding offences in Singapore: Everything you need to know

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We get it. Sometimes you just have to scratch the itch for speed. But with no closed track or open roads in Singapore to do so, it can get tricky.

We say that itch is tricky at best, as speed limits are strictly enforced. You can't just plant your foot on the loud pedal - that will just net you points on your licence. Financial penalties and even jail time can also be applied.

What exactly is a speed limit?

Speed limits vary depending on the type and location of the road. Lower speed limits would be imposed if the road is narrow and winding, or if it is situated in densely-populated urban areas.

There are other designated areas with lower speed limits. For example,

  1. School Zones: From 6:30am-7:45am, 12pm-2:30 pm and 6pm-7pm, cars must not exceed 40km/h. These are the timeslots where students are dropped off at or dismissed from school. There are signboards with amber flashing lights installed at the start of these zones - the 40km/h limit is enforced when the lights are activated.
  2. Silver Zones: These are designated zones in more mature estates with a higher population of the elderly. Typically, most Silver Zones have a limit of 40km/h, though the LTA is trialling a further reduction to 30km/h in selected estates.

What about normal roads?

Unless otherwise stated, our default speed limit is 50km/h. Some smaller and less developed roads locally (yes, they exist!) can have legal limits of as low as 30km/h, though most larger and open roads have a limit of up to 70km/h.

Anecdotally, there is a general consensus that some leeway is given (of up to 10km/h), though that is probably to take into account the various discrepancies of the in-car speedometers.

Commercial vehicles are imposed with speed restrictions, as their simplistic suspension designs are deemed unsuitable for sustained high speeds. These vehicles would have a speed limit sticker prominently displayed on the rear of the vehicle.

Do note that the vehicular speed limit takes precedence over the road speed limit.

Here's a chart with a breakdown of what that looks like:

Applied Vehicle Speed Limit

Type of vehicle

Vehicle speed limit

Road speed limit

Silver Zone

Normal roads

Expressway

Cars & motorcycles

N/A

Maximum 40 km/h

50-70 km/h

70-90 km/h

Buses & coaches / heavy vehicles

60 km/h

Maximum 40 km/h

Maximum 60 km/h

Light commercial vehicles

70 km/h

Maximum 40 km/h

Maximum 70 km/h

What is a composition fine?

In essence, composition fines are imposed for minor offences. If it is said fine, your ticket will have the phrase "offer of composition" written on it.

Pay it on time at any AXS machine to save yourself the hassle of having to actually go to court. Typical penalties for 'minor' speeding-related offences can range from $150-$300.

Demerit points

You'll receive demerit points on your licence if you exceed the speed limit as follows:

Speed limit exceeded by 

Demerit points awarded

1 to 20 km/h

Four

21 to 30 km/h

Six

31 to 40 km/h

Eight

41 to 50 km/h

12

51 to 60 km/h

18

More than 60 km/h

24

You will receive a letter from the Traffic Police within two weeks of committing an offence.

If you have a vehicle registered on the Motorist App, you will be notified instantly once the offence is detected via the SPF website.

What about more serious offences?

Prosecution in court is necessary for offenders exceeding legal limits by more than 40 km/h.

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Repeat offenders can be jailed up to 10 years, and if you have committed vehicular manslaughter in the process, six strokes of the cane can be applied on top of your sentence.

Your licence will also be revoked in the process, and you may be permanently barred from driving.

Repeat offenders will not be subject to a criminal record unless vehicular manslaughter was committed as a result. It can however be spent after a period of five years without a crime.

To deter drivers from speeding in the first place, those who promote or take part in street racing will be jailed for a year and fined $5,000. Repeat offenders will get double the penalty and jail time.

Why you shouldn't speed in the first place

Apart from saving yourself all the headache and heartache, not being penalised by the law can actually save you money come insurance renewal.

Drivers should note that on top of their No-Claim Discount, drivers who have not accumulated any traffic offences for three years can enjoy a five per cent discount when renewing their car insurance.

We hope that this advice will help you understand the consequences of speeding as well as how it can affect your life.

This article was first published in Motorist.