Traffic offences: How to avoid getting fined

PHOTO: The Straits Times/Chong Jun Liang

Traffic laws have been put in place to protect us from ourselves. These regulations have been implemented after careful deliberation from industrial experts and from prior statistics.

Designed to address the root cause of serious accidents, the law disincentivises drivers from even thinking about committing the offence in the first place.

Stiff penalties have been put in place to deter drivers from breaking the law, such as big fines, demerit points and even disqualification from driving.

The punishment is proportionate to the size of the offence – minor offences yield smaller penalties and vice versa. In fact, some of the "smaller" offences do not put points on your licence.

We aren’t saying that you should free your inner rule-breaker and commit all of these offences, as fines are still meted out for these traffic misdemeanours!

The Most Common Traffic Offences

Before we touch on how to avoid committing traffic offences, perhaps we should take a look at the top three most common traffic offences as reported by the Singapore Police Force for the first half of 2021.

Third place: Drink-driving – 724 cases

PHOTO: Pexels 

724 drivers have been arrested for drink-driving in the first half of 2021, which is a 7.7 per cent increase over the 672 in the same timeframe last year.

Accidents caused by drivers under the influence also went up, by 20.3 per cent, from 64 to 77 of 1H 2021.

Second place: Red light violations – 23,952 cases

23,952 cases of red-light running violations have been reported by the Traffic Police. This is a 0.8 per cent decrease over last year’s figure of 24,147.

Accidents caused by beating the red light are also on a downward trajectory, to the 47 of 1H 2021 as compared to the 51 of the same time period last year.

First place: Speeding - 66,270 cases

66,270 cases of speeding violations were reported in the first half of this year. It may sound like a big figure, but this is actually a 29.8 per cent drop from the 94,348 of 1H 2020.

Collisions as a result of exceeding the speed limit went up though, to 426 from the 340 from January to June in 2020.

Read Also
Adidas has unveiled a 007 Ultraboost shoe collection inspired by No Time to Die
Adidas has unveiled a 007 Ultraboost shoe collection inspired by No Time to Die

Here's a quick refresher on what’s at stake should you abuse your loud pedal. If you stray over the speed limits by 1-20km/h, you’ll be subject to a $150 fine, as well as four demerit points.

Six points will be had on your licence for exceeding speed limits by 21 – 30km/h, and a financial penalty of $200.

For exceeding speed limits by 31 – 40km/h, you’ll be fined $300, and have eight points put on your licence.

Any more than 41km/h, and you’ve earned yourself an express pass to have a court date.

If you are already teetering on a licence suspension, you’ll need every bit of help you can get to ensure you aren’t done by committing another traffic offence.

What can you do to prevent yourself from losing your driving privileges?

Activating Motorist’s Co-Driver function

Motorist Co Driver
PHOTO: Motorist

Our feature-packed app has functionalities that stretch far beyond the car buying and selling process!

We have an audio integration feature, which has been designed to encourage safer driving habits.

With Co-Driver, you’ll have access to data on the locations of the different types of traffic cameras island-wide. This is information provided directly by the Traffic Police. It will also notify you when bus-lane hours are in operation!

Co-Driver will provide you gentle reminders when you need them, to ensure you’ll never be caught running afoul of the law again!

Using a valet/drive home service 

If you don’t drive to drink, you’ll have no chance of drink-driving. With our extensive public transit network, there’s no shortage of options to get to the venue of your choice without being behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Besides, a lot of these establishments are in the city – leaving your car at home means not paying for exorbitant parking!

If you already drove to drink, engage a drive-home valet. Drink-driving is not only very illegal but morally wrong.

Never mind that you are risking your own life; driving under the influence can put those around you at risk too.

Drive-home valets may not be cheap, but the cost you’ll incur pales in comparison to a) what you’ve already spent at your drinking establishment of choice, and b) to the legal repercussions if you get caught.

They are also a lot more cost-effective than paying for expensive repairs. Be responsible and do the right thing!

P.S. We offer competitive rates for drive-home valets services.

Don’t commit offences to begin with 

The best way to not get ticketed is to abide by the laws. Sounds obvious enough, eh?

Adhere, where possible, to traffic laws, especially in heavily regulated areas.

There are still instances in which you are unable to keep within the legal boundaries (other road users opting to exceed the speed limit as you are coasting on the slowest lane for instance, and having to adjust your speed to avoid a crash), though trying to keep it legal is the best way to not have to live in fear of prosecution!

Read Also
5 SUVs under $80k
5 SUVs under $80k

Fines are the least of your problems. Break traffic laws and you may be subject to points on your licence – accumulate too many and you are at risk of licence suspension. Where possible, obey traffic laws to the best of your ability.

Having apps that can remind you where the traffic cameras are can be a good way to ensure you do not get caught doing something that you shouldn’t.

Another common offence that we lack the numbers for, is the number of drivers pulled over for using their mobile devices whilst behind the wheel.

With modern smarts, the need to actually hold onto our phones is greatly diminished.

PHOTO: Pexels 

This article was first published in Motorist.