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News on the road

Get up to speed with recent motoring developments

CURB POLLUTION

The National Environment Agency has announced a new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) to replace the existing Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme, with effect from Jan 1 next year. The scheme will include checks on four other pollutants — hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter — on top of carbon dioxide. The VES rebate for a car will be determined by its worst-performing pollutant.

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PRICIER COMMUTES

Morning peak-hour commutes on the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) will now cost $2 with the new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) that came into effect earlier this month. The ERP gantry is after the Defu Flyover and operates on weekdays between 7am and 9.30am.

And on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) after North Buona Vista Road towards Tuas, the ERP rate has doubled to $2 between 6pm and 6.30pm.

DRIVING RECORD

Car insurers have started using telematics devices to track driving behaviour such as the driver’s speed, acceleration, braking and cornering. This could also help reduce traffic accidents.

AIG Singapore and AXA Insurance are making use of this technology to identify safe drivers and offer promotions on motor premiums to these drivers.

USE THE RIGHT COUPON

New parking coupons are needed because short-term parking charges have increased from 50 cents to 60 cents per half hour since last December.

For restricted zones and designated areas, parking charges have increased from $1 to $1.20 per half hour. 

The new coupons come in denominations of 60 cents, $1.20 and $2.40. Motorists can exchange their old parking coupons for new ones by topping up the difference in value at The URA Centre and most HDB branches or service centres, except the HDB Tampines Branch. There is no deadline for exchanging coupons at these locations.

But you may not have to worry about coupons for too long. Trials are underway for a parking app before the move to the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system. The satellite-based ERP system — slated to be launched in 2020 — will help facilitate street-side parking charges in addition to road charges.

HANDS-FREE

French carmaker Peugeot has teamed up with start-up tech company nuTonomy to test self-driving cars.  By this September, two customised Peugeot 3008 cars fitted with nuTonomy’s software, sensors and computing platforms will be on the streets in one-north. nuTonomy plans to have about a dozen more autonomous cars in operation by the beginning of next year.

CHEAPER CARS

Good news for those who want to get a Category A car as the recent round of Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bidding on May 11 ended with lower prices.

For cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp, the COE closed at $51,106, down from $51,600 in the previous tender and with a quota of 1,905. The COE for Category B cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed at $55,414, a slight increase from $54,406, with a quota of 1,320.

GO LITE

Car-Free Sunday returns next week, so give the engine a rest. Since last October, the car-free route has expanded to include the Telok Ayer conservation area in addition to the Central Business District and Civic District. Take the whole family out for fun activities at the Families for Life Celebrations 2017, organised by the Families for Life in conjunction with Car-Free Sunday.

TAKE PREVENTIVE STEPS

Last month, two taxis caught fire, part of a rising number of vehicle fires that increased to 236 last year from 199 in 2015.

While explosions are rare, safety experts say that fires are usually caused by overheated engines or electrical problems. Send your car for regular servicing

and check that the engine and petrol tank have no dents. You should also keep a portable fire extinguisher in your car as an extra precaution. 

PHOTOS: DREAMSTIME, ST FILE, PEUGEOT