Getting handed that teal blue card at the end of an arduous (and expensive) journey of learning how to drive in Singapore might soon be history.
Said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling in parliament today (8 July), the Traffic Police (TP) is planning to stop issuing physical driving licenses “unless requested by motorists in its push towards digitalisation”.
“Today, TP plans no longer relies on physical licences to ascertain an individual’s driving qualifications. TP can access this information backend, using an individual’s NRIC and date of birth,” said Ms Sun.
The Road Traffic Act will thus be amended so that motorists will also no longer need to surrender their physical licenses if they don’t have one.
If you’re a motorcyclist or a pillion rider who doesn’t wear the proper protective helmets, be ready to face a higher penalty of up to three months- jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. This is up from the current $200 fine.
Other changes proposed in the Bill includes “making clear in the law that a motorist’s licence will be suspended or revoked four weeks from the date of notice, even if the motorist’s appeal against it is still being processed”.
According to Ms Sun, there are instances of errant motorists who misuse the appeals mechanism to delay the suspension or revocation of their licenses.
She said: “They file multiple unmerited appeals at different junctures, and through different channels. By doing so, they drag out the process, so that they can continue to drive in the interim.”
This, in turn, puts other motorists at risk.
Ms Sun added that “where possible, the police will process and respond within two weeks of receiving an appeal”.
Another proposal sees the licence suspension period be lengthened to “up to five years from the current three-year period”, allowing the TP to “suspend serial offenders for a longer period of time”.
Here are a few other proposed amendments to the Bill:
- Motorists who have one of their probationary licenses revoked will have their other licenses revoked at the same time
- Allowing the courts to consider past road traffic offences as an aggravating factor (i.e. something that potentially increases the severity of a criminal act) during a sentencing of an individual for road traffic offences
- Motorists to be required to stop their vehicle to render assistance to animals involved in accidents