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Faishal Ibrahim: Dangerous driving penalties in Singapore adequate

Minister of State for MHA, Faishal Ibrahim defended Singapore’s current laws as being “already quite stiff” amid calls from Singaporeans urging stricter penalties against dangerous driving, following the fatal Tampines accident claiming two lives.



SINGAPORE: Despite calls from the Singaporean community for stricter penalties regarding dangerous and reckless driving following a tragic multi-vehicle collision at Tampines that claimed two lives last month, Minister of State (MOS) for Home Affairs, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, asserted that the current laws are already stringent.

The fatal accident in Tampines prompted Members of Parliament to submit more than 10 questions regarding road safety and whether the government would consider reviewing existing penalties under the Road Traffic Act (RTA) for reckless driving and speeding.

In response, MOS Faishal informed the House on Tuesday (7 May) that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had last significantly adjusted penalties in 2019.

He clarified that under the RTA, for an offence of dangerous driving causing death, a first-time offender could face imprisonment of two to eight years, while a repeat offender could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

Additionally, an offender could face a minimum 10-year disqualification from driving, which commences upon release from prison.

“Thus, a first offender in a serious case could be jailed for a maximum of 8 years and not drive for 18 years. ”

“What the laws provide today are already quite stiff. We do regularly review different aspects of the framework. ”

“In this context, we have been studying the adequacy of composition amounts and the demerit points framework,” he said.

Nevertheless, MOS Faishal acknowledged the profound shock and anger felt by many Singaporeans following the accident

“I am sure I speak for all of us in saying we were all deeply saddened as well.”

He highlighted that since last month, the Traffic Police (TP) has been progressively activating the speed enforcement function in red-light cameras across the island, particularly at locations prone to accidents or violations.

Within the span of three weeks since activation, these cameras have detected over 800 speeding violations.

“Whilst enforcement cameras are useful for deterrence, it is not feasible to install them at all traffic junctions and zebra crossings, given terrain limitations and other constraints,” he said.

Over the past six weeks, TP has also ramped up ad-hoc enforcement efforts, resulting in the detection of nearly 1,400 violations and the apprehension of 29 motorists for traffic-related and other offences.

Fatal accidents increased by 12% to 131 in 2023

MOS Faishal highlighted that although Singapore’s roads have generally become safer, there has been a concerning 12% increase in fatal accidents, reaching 131 in 2023.

He shared statistics indicating a positive trend over the last five years, with accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities decreasing by approximately 10%, from 7,822 in 2019 to 7,075 in 2023.

“There were 71 fatal accidents in the first half of 2023, and 60 in the second half of the year,” said MOS Faishal.

He pointed out that the leading causes of fatal accidents between 2019 and 2023 were attributed to failure to maintain proper lookout and control of vehicles.

Faishal highlighted enforcement measures, stating that an average of three fatal accidents per year were investigated under the offence of reckless or dangerous driving causing death, while speeding-related incidents accounted for an average of 29 fatal accidents annually.

Additionally, he underscored initiatives to improve road safety and encourage responsible driving behaviour. For example, eligible motorists can attend the Safe Driving Course, which allows four demerit points to be expunged upon completion.

WP MP Dennis Tan calls for refinement of sentencing guidelines in response to recent Tampines clash

Dennis Tan, Workers’ Party MP for Hougang SMC, questioned MOS Faishal whether the government would look to refine the sentencing guidelines within the existing legislative punishment framework in light of recent serious accidents.

He also asked if the TP or MHA would consider enhancing current public education efforts to promote safe driving, including encouraging patience among drivers and consideration for other road users.

MOS Faishal responded by assuring that they would exercise the provisions provided for under the law to commensurate with the capability of the person who caused the accident.

He also acknowledged the importance of road safety education efforts and expressed gratitude for the support from members in promoting education.

Sylvia Lim, WP Chairman then proposed public education efforts could focus more on aspects of driving culture that exhibit a permissive attitude towards speed. She provided an example of how in some countries, motorists honk at those who exceed the speed limit to encourage them to slow down.

She suggested that the TP could explore this aspect to foster a broad-based safety culture in society.

MOS Faishal agreed with Sylvia Lim’s suggestion, emphasizing the need to develop road safety holistically as a society.

He highlighted collaborative efforts with organizations like the Singapore Road Safety Council and emphasized the importance of internalizing a sense of responsibility towards other road users to make the roads safer for everyone.

Tampines crash sparks calls for harsher penalties against reckless and dangerous driving

On 22 April, a fatal multi-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Tampines Avenue 1 and Tampines Avenue 4, claiming two lives.

Footage captured from multiple dashboard cameras revealed that a black Saab, purportedly driven by Syafie, was observed speeding and sideswiping a white car before reaching a junction.

Subsequently, the vehicle ran a red light, resulting in a collision with other vehicles at the intersection.

Among the deceased is a 17-year-old student at Temasek Junior College, while the other victim is identified as a 57-year-old female passenger in a van. Both succumbed to their injuries after admission to the hospital.

The Singaporean community mourns the loss of two lives: Temasek JC student Afifah Munirah Binte Muhammad Azril and Norzihan Bte Hj Juwahib, an employee of a pest control company.

Ms Norzihan had recently realized her dream of owning a home by purchasing a two-room flat in Sengkang just three months ago before the accident.

Subsequently, the 42-year-old male car driver, Muhammad Syafie Ismail who was involved in Monday’s (22 April) catastrophic multi-vehicle crash in Tampines charged in court on 25 April, facing several serious offences.

Besides mourning for the loss, the Singaporean community also calls for stricter penalties against dangerous or reckless driving in Singapore.

In Singapore, under section 64 of the Road Traffic Act, those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving can expect a minimum of two years and a maximum of eight years imprisonment, along with a mandatory minimum disqualification from driving for 10 years.

For causing death by driving without due care or consideration, offenders may face up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a first-time offence, coupled with a minimum disqualification from driving for 8 years.

Furthermore, under section 304A(a) of the Penal Code, motorists held responsible for causing death through reckless acts can be sentenced to a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.

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Wah come to think of it, you locals really are gone case.
Killed on the road with no recourse.
Killed by high medical cost, which you local fucks can ill afford.
Killed by high Utliites cost and food cost.
Killed by having no money for retirement.
Killed by FTs for jobs…
Did I missed out any other….KILL?😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

The key word here is “enforcement.” If people report bad drivers to the LTA with full details and evidence. Does LTA actually take action?

Why do Singaporeans need to wait until a speed camera or red-light camera detect these reckless drivers?

The ruling government loves wasting money on paranoid fueling ad campaigns warning about “suspicious” looking people. Why have they not done the same against reckless / dangerous driving?

How many people have been killed by “suspicious” looking people versus reckless drivers in the last 20 years?

How many more decades of failed education and advices before government wake up to the seriousness of such avoidable accidents?

Or is it because most of these fast and reckless drivers at belong to some famous names families so cannot touch?

With most sentencing of up to a few years jail or a fine, most with thick wallets likely walk away with minimum damages to themselves even if they seriously hurt or kill someone

In other words….

Let the idiots kill each other off…
Cars crash into cars
Cars crash into pedestrians
Self eliminating without any intervention, cost free.
If public infrastructure is damaged, just claim from driver or insurer.
If people are injured, let them file civil suits against each other.

No issue.
No Government resource required.

In short, MOS Faishal saying …you DIE YOUR OWN BIZ, DON’T COME HERE TO COW PEH COW BU for increased punishment cos for Elites like him, the odds of him and his love ones dying this way but SLIM!
I fully agree. The low ses deserved each other on the roads, as well as the slum HDBs which they live.😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

I hope some of your family members fall the same way as the fatal victims. May this wish come thru. And you can comment from your ivory tower.

The caveat is that death must occur before the sentencing kicks in. As trishaw has written in another post a speeding vehicle because a killing machine. So instead of stroking the backs of speeding motorists, please impound their cars and let them pay for the storage until they meet with a magistrate.

I watched a hk movie more than a decade ago. It is about an unemployed man finds out that his car-racing hobby can become a money-generating career. He did not become a car racer but a professional killer using rental cars to kill. He knows traffic laws is weak and he can always get away with lighter sentencing after he killed few people with status (politicians, University lecturers, rich men, business men, secret society leaders and etc) on the roads. However, in the end he was killed by another professional killer using the same method. The government and the traffic… Read more »