Forum: Not giving way to emergency vehicles is an offence

Heavy traffic along the Central Expressway (CTE) on a hazy day.
Heavy traffic along the Central Expressway (CTE) on a hazy day.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Dr Ambika Vidyadharan and Mr Lim Ang Yong (Motorists continue to impede emergency vehicles, Oct 16, and Bad behaviour: Don't ignore the positives, Oct 18) for understanding the importance of giving way to emergency vehicles.

Every second counts in an emergency. Motorists who do not give way are putting lives at risk.

All Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) front-line emergency vehicles, such as fire engines and ambulances, are fitted with blinker lights and sirens. During an emergency, these are switched on to alert road users. Motorists should give way by filtering to the left when it is safe to do so.

Under the Road Traffic Act, motorists who obstruct emergency vehicles that are responding to an emergency are committing an offence. The composition sum for this offence is $150 for light vehicles and $200 for heavy vehicles. Offenders will also receive four demerit points. The Traffic Police, however, will prosecute offenders in court if there are aggravating factors.

If convicted, first-time offenders may face a fine not exceeding $1,000 or an imprisonment term of up to three months, or both. Repeat offenders may be liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or an imprisonment term of up to six months, or both.

SCDF's emergency vehicles are equipped with cameras that capture video footage, which can be used as evidence for prosecution purposes.

Leslie Williams (Colonel)

Deputy Director (Corporate Communications Department)

Singapore Civil Defence Force

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'Not giving way to emergency vehicles is an offence'. Print Edition | Subscribe