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Don't Anyhow Say: FB Post Stating You Can't Hold Your Phone While Driving Is Totally Inaccurate

A recent Facebook post has been going around stating that from 1 July, new traffic rules dictate that drivers would not be able to “touch your mobile devices while driving, not even at traffic lights”.

It went on to list the fines drivers can potentially face, stating that they were a “new pricing from Traffic Police (Price increase without further notice)”.

Have a read of the post below:

For all of you to take note:

The new driving rules are in force from 1st July.

Remember not to touch your mobile devices while driving, not even at traffic lights.

First-time offenders can be fined up to Sgd$1,000 and/or jailed for up to six months. Repeat offenders get up to double the penalty.

Anyone caught using any function of his mobile device and holding it while driving could be found guilty of committing an offence, under proposed changes to improve road safety in Singapore.

This includes not just communicating with someone else via calls or texts, which are offences under existing law, but also surfing the internet, visiting social media platforms and downloading videos.

(Traceable with timelock)

The new rules would apply not just to phones but also all mobile communication devices, such as iPads, under the broadened Road Traffic Act.

Share to those who drive!! drive carefully!

Soon enough, the post was picked up by another publication, and that simply seemed to fuel the ‘legitimacy’ of the post.

Following the recent spate of events that rocked the nation, it might also have raised the question, “Why wasn’t there an official news release again? They want to sabo is it?”

What The Rules Actually State

As a driver myself (and a kiasi one to boot), however, I’m usually inclined to believe the stricter rules mentioned in the post – you know, the safer the better.

In spite of that, there was still something glaring about the posts – there seemed to be no link to any official release from the Traffic Police, which definitely rang alarm bells.

Unsatisfied, I went to the Traffic Police’s official FAQ and checked out the rules for usage of mobile phones while driving.

It stated, and still currently states at time of writing:

Image Credit: Singapore Police Force
Image Credit: Singapore Police Force

The FAQ refutes two statements mentioned in the post:

  1. Holding on to the phone (but not using it) while driving is considered a fineable offence;
  2. Phones cannot be used even when drivers have stopped at traffic lights

What therefore currently stands is no different from the rules that drivers are already familiar with, so drivers, you will still be able to hold on to your precious phones while you drive.

Just make sure that you’re not using them in any way.

On The Internet, Take Everything With A Pinch Of Salt

While comments on Facebook seem to suggest that the posts were take up as ‘truth’ by certain netizens, others have called it out, urging that such public statements be made only with reference to official sources:

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The intentions of the original post, are very likely, pure and good, but if there’s anything to take away, it’s that as social media users, we have the responsibility of making sure that our posts are either backed-up by official sources (mainstream news sites, official press releases) or clearly stated as personal opinion/observation if otherwise.

As consumers of social media news, it’s also important that we ensure that the news we stumble across is properly cited.

Even if we do not have a few thousand friends, the onus is still on us to disseminate accurate information to our social networks.

Feature Image Credit: nidirect.gov.uk

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