With effect from 1 November 2019, errant motorists who flout traffic rules will now face harsher punishments under the recent amended Road Traffic Act.
- Irresponsible driving offences is now classified into two categories:
- Reckless or Dangerous Driving (for eg driving even though he should have known he was not in the condition to drive safely)
- Careless Driving (driving without caution when the road situation demanded it)
The offences will further be categorised into 4 different extents of harm caused:
- Any motorist who commits a Dangerous or Careless Driving offence under the influence of alcohol or drugs (“DUI”) will be liable for additional penalties, which will run consecutively.
- Repeat offenders will be liable for higher maximum penalties compared to first-time offenders.
- Irresponsible motorists will be kept off the roads for a longer period and in a more timely manner through the broadening of the range of offences for which minimum disqualification (“DQ”) periods, immediate suspension, and vehicle forfeiture will apply. In addition, penalties for driving without a licence, or driving while under DQ or licence suspension will be increased.
- The courts will be able to consider a motorist’s past compounded road traffic offences as an aggravating factor in sentencing a person convicted of a road traffic offence.
- The provisions of the Act pertaining to the licence suspension and revocation system will take effect in the second half of 2020.
Safety reminder: Driving safely should be your number one concern. Monitor the driving environment carefully and act with consideration and caution, at all times.