Your guide to road rules in Singapore
Beyond acquiring vehicle control skills, and behaving responsibly behind the wheel, there are a number of road rules that every driver should know and follow for safe driving. From speed limits and seatbelts, to drink-driving and mandatory third party car insurance coverage, today’s article provides an overview of the main road rules in Singapore.
How are road rules enforced in Singapore?
In Singapore, road rules are enforced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Traffic Police (TP) to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians, and vehicles. Road traffic offences in the country are governed by the Road Traffic Act (Chapter 276), the full details of which can be found here.
Speed limits for different types of vehicles
Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit for all vehicle types on roads is 50km/h, though exceptions apply for ambulances, fire engines, and government vehicles used by the Singapore Civil Defence Force and Police Force. The speed limits detailed in the table below are determined by the LTA, while TP is responsible for enforcing action against speed limit offenders:
|Cars & motorcycles||50km/h||50-80km/h||70-90km/h|
|Buses & coaches||50km/h||50-60km/h||60km/h|
|Light commercial vehicles||50km/h||50-70km/h||60-70km/h|
Source: Land Transport Authority website
There are two types of bus lanes in Singapore: normal and full-day. Normal bus lanes only operate at peak hours on weekdays, whereas full-day bus lanes, as the name suggests, are applicable for the whole day, from Monday to Saturday. Aside from buses, only a few types of vehicles are allowed on bus lanes: police vehicles, emergency services, and bicycles. Motorists who drive on bus lanes during restricted hours (shown below), and whose vehicles do not belong in those categories, may face a fine of up to SGD 1,000, or 3 months imprisonment.
Bus lane operation hours
|Days||Normal bus lanes||Full-day bus lanes|
|Monday to Friday||7:30am to 9:30am
5pm to 8pm
|7:30am to 11pm|
|Saturday||NA||7:30am to 11pm|
|Sundays & Public Holidays||NA||NA|
It is legally mandatory for front and rear seat passengers, as well as drivers to wear seat belts. A fine of SGD 120 will be imposed on all adult passengers who fail to belt up, and if charged and convicted in court, the penalty shall be a fine of up to SGD 1,000, or 3 months imprisonment. In the case of a second offence, the fine will be up to SGD 2,000, or 6 months imprisonment.
Drink-driving is one of the most serious traffic violations in Singapore. Road rules on drink-driving are based on the amount of alcohol in excess of the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per 100 millimeters of breath, the maximum penalty being a SGD 5,000 fine or six months imprisonment on a first conviction, and 12 months imprisonment on a subsequent conviction. The offender will also be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months.
Leaving your vehicle engine idling
Did you know? As of June 2016, repeat offenders who are caught leaving their stationary vehicles’ engines on will be fined SGD 100 by the National Environment Agency, up from the previous SGD 70. If the fine is not paid, motorists could face a maximum court fine of SGD 5,000!
In Singapore, it is against the law to drive without proof of valid car insurance, and the minimum requirement is third party car insurance that covers death or bodily injury to third parties (including passengers). Generally speaking, even the most basic third-party-only car insurance policies will provide coverage for property damage to third parties, even though it is not required by law. For more extensive cover, motorists can alternatively secure comprehensive car insurance, which covers third parties as well as the driver’s own vehicle.
To learn more about driving, road rules, or your car insurance options in Singapore, contact our team of car insurance advisors (and drivers!) today. Our expert team is trained to do all the hard work for you; from comparing the best plans on the market, to managing and assisting with claims and renewals when you need them.