Dangerous driving in Singapore - What you should know

You’ve probably seen movies like Fast and Furious, where drivers go fast, swerve in between cars, take out the police and drive like a badass, and you’ve probably imagined yourself being in their shoes. 

Yes, they look really cool and you get a huge thrill and adrenaline from driving fast, but did you know that all the above can be classified as dangerous driving in Singapore? 

So if you wanna drive like Dominic Toretto, be safe by doing it on the track ! It’s safer, has a better environment, plus you won’t get into trouble with the law.

dominic toretto fast furious in car.jpg

Now suppose for some reason, you prefer driving fast while swerving in between traffic on Singapore’s public roads. The least you can do is to take note of the penalty for dangerous driving - so you know what to expect if you get caught. 

Just to recap, the following can be classified as dangerous driving : 

  • Driving against the flow of traffic

  • Weaving in and out of traffic

  • Disobeying traffic signals

Some other things to take note of : 

Police officers are empowered to arrest dangerous drivers without a warrant. Drivers can face fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to 12 months’ jail.

Offenders can also be disqualified from driving for a certain period of time, or for life. This disqualification is compulsory for repeat offenders.

Drivers convicted of causing death by dangerous driving under section 66(1) of the RTA can be jailed up to 5 years.

However, after a driver has been arrested/charged for dangerous driving, before sentencing the court will also take into account factors such as : 

  • The harm/damage that has resulted from the offence

  • The driver’s responsibility or accountability for the offence

  • Actual or potential harm resulting from the offence

There are 4 categories of harm :

Slight harm

Slight or moderate property damage and/or slight physical injury not requiring hospitalisation or medical leave.

Moderate harm

Serious property damage and/or moderate personal injury requiring hospitalisation or medical leave. However, there are no fractures or permanent injuries.

Serious harm

Serious personal injury which usually involves fractures. Serious personal injuries also include injuries which are permanent and/or which require significant surgery.

Very serious harm

Loss of limb, sight, hearing or life, or where there is paralysis.

Next, you have the culpability of the driver, which is basically a way to determine how responsible or accountable the driver is for the accident/harm caused. 

The 3 factors which generally affect the culpability of a driver for dangerous driving are:

Manner of driving - how was the driver driving and how big a danger did he pose to other road users as a result of this? speeding, drink-driving, driving while using a mobile phone, disobeying traffic rules are all taken into account. 

Circumstances of driving - was the traffic heavy? was the driver driving within a residential or school zone? was the driver driving a heavy vehicle that requires more reaction time and is harder to control?

Reasons for driving : was the driver deliberately driving dangerously? this would mean more culpability as compared to a driver who was driving dangerously in an emergency situation 

the good news is that where the harm caused and the driver’s culpability are both low, a fine would usually be sufficient. However, the court will usually impose a jail term where the harm caused and the driver’s culpability are both high.

Taken from https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/dangerous-driving-penalties-singapore