Speeding is well-known for being a significant contributing factor to road accidents, not just the number of incidents, but also the severity of injuries, whether that’s to other road users or pedestrians.
Speeding is a strict liability offence in Singapore. That means, regardless of a driver’s reasons, intentions or motivation, the offence is absolute if the data reveals that a driver was travelling over the legal speed limit for that road.
Speeding in Singapore results in various penalties, which, for severe offences or repeat offenders, can mean time in prison or the revocation of their driving licence.
What is the penalty for being caught speeding in Singapore?
The penalty will depend upon how far over the speed limit the driver is and whether this is a first or repeated offence. Penalties range from a fine, prosecution in court, and suspension, or revocation of a driving licence.
Composition fines are imposed for minor traffic offences, which include exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or less. A ticket details the ‘offer of composition’ with the fine amount and a payment deadline.
Paying the fine at an AXS machine available across Singapore is easy. However, if you want to contest the offence, this must be done before the expiry date.
Composition fines range from S$130 to S$170 depending on how far over the speed limit the driver was driving.
Prosecution in court
If a driver exceeds the speed limit by 40 km/h or more, a court prosecution will follow with a maximum fine of S$1,000 and/or three months in prison. This is for a first court conviction. For a repeat offender, these penalties double.
Repeat driving offences resulting in at least two convictions for driving 40 km/h above the speed limit or more can also result in enhanced penalties imposed by Section 67(A) of the Road Traffic Act.
In these circumstances, the court can extend the punishment the driver would be liable for threefold, subject to a maximum jail term of ten years.
Drivers who cause serious injury or death due to speeding can also be subject to an additional penalty of caning; up to six strokes are permitted.
In addition to fines and court prosecution, speeding drivers are awarded demerit points.
The number of points depends upon how far above the speed limit the driver is; an accumulation can mean the suspension or revocation of their driving licence.
Exceeding the speed limit by between 1 and 20 km/h results in four demerit points, whereas exceeding the limit by between 31 and 40 km/h means twelve demerit points.
The maximum number of demerit points that can be awarded for a single offence is 24 when a driver has exceeded the speed limit by more than 60 km/h.
Removing demerit points
It is possible to remove demerit points if the driver remains free of any other speeding offences for twelve consecutive months from their last conviction.
There is also an option for some drivers to have four demerit points removed from their record if they successfully complete the Safe Driving Course (SDC).
Safe Driving Course
There are criteria and restrictions for driver eligibility for the SDC.
A driver is only eligible if they have 8-23 demerit points with no existing suspension or 4-11 demerit points if they have a current suspension.
The SDC is not an option for probationary drivers or drivers who are likely to have their licence suspended or have already been disqualified by the court.
The option of the SDC is only available a maximum of two times in ten years, and there is an additional requirement of at least a twelve-month gap between each SDC course.
Suspension or revocation of a driving licence
The impact of demerit points on a licence depends on the driver’s status.
New or probationary drivers
If a new or probationary driver commits a speeding offence or multiple offences, their licence will be revoked if they accumulate 13 or more demerit points during the probationary period.
If a driving licence is revoked, this means it is invalid, so a driver will need to re-take both the traffic police theory and practical tests to obtain a new licence.
Non-probationary drivers with no prior licence suspensions
A driver outside the probationary period with no previous suspensions can have their licence suspended for up to twelve weeks if they accumulate 24 or more demerit points.
This can be for one or more offences; the accumulation period is twenty-four consecutive months.
Non-probationary drivers with at least one previous suspension
A driver with one or more previous licence suspensions could potentially have their licence suspended again for up to thirty-six months if they accumulate 12 or more demerit points within twelve consecutive months.
What are the speed limits in Singapore?
Speed limits in Singapore vary depending on the type of road. They range from 30 km/h to 90 km/h. The speed limit is usually indicated by a speed limit sign on what is classified as normal roads.
A silver zone is a designated area where all motor vehicles cannot exceed 40 km/h. As well as the speed limit, the road sign will have a separate metal sign confirming this is a silver zone. Silver zones are usually in areas where there are vulnerable pedestrians.
The speed limit ranges from 80 km/h to 90 km/h for tunnels and expressways.
However, the speed limit doesn’t just depend on the road but also the class of road users; on expressways, coaches and buses may only travel at a maximum speed of 60 km/h, whilst cars and motorcycles can go up to 70-90 km/h.
What impact can a speeding conviction have?
It’s not usually necessary to declare a speeding conviction when you apply for a job unless the job involves driving, either as the central part of the role or even just as a minor role.
A conviction of causing death by dangerous or reckless driving while speeding results in a criminal record, which usually needs to be declared to an employer.
Your motor insurer will ask about speeding convictions when you renew your cover. The seriousness of the offence is what counts and can impact risk and the premium.
Final thoughts on speeding
Law enforcers and the government take the issue of speeding very seriously in Singapore. Excessive speed is dangerous to all other road users and pedestrians. In accidents where a lower speed would have meant the victim may only have been injured, it can make the difference between injury vs no injury, or death.
Frequently asked questions
Why does the speed limit vary on Singapore roads?
Speed limits in Singapore are set to reflect several different factors.
If the road has certain features like contours and bends, the speed limit is reduced in the same way that it is lower if the road passes through an area with a school or numerous pedestrians, such as in a residential area. In locations with a school, the speed limit is set at a maximum of 40 km/h between certain hours.
I was given an offer of composition after being caught speeding, but it’s expired. What happens next?
If the offer has expired, then so has the opportunity to contest the charge, and you will need to plead guilty to the offence and pay a court fine on top of the original composition penalty.
This can be paid through the Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS) on any AXS machine on the island.
What is the probationary driving period in Singapore?
The probation period is one year for a new licence holder.
A probationary driver must display the triangular probationary licence plate in the top right-hand section of the front windscreen on their vehicle, plus the rear windscreen when viewed from outside the car.
What is the speed limit if no sign is present?
If there is no clear signage, then the speed limit is automatically 50 km/h. There could also be additional restrictions imposed by the road traffic notification.
Does conviction for a speeding offence lead to a criminal record?
Speeding offences are not registered under the Registration of Criminals Act, so they do not constitute a criminal record.
However, if you are convicted of causing death by reckless or dangerous driving as part of a speeding episode or event, this is a criminal offence and results in a criminal record.