More than 1,400 booked for driving without licence last year: MHA

Current penalties are three months' jail or up to $1,000 fine for the first offence, and for the second offence, six months' jail or up to $2,000 in fines.
Current penalties are three months' jail or up to $1,000 fine for the first offence, and for the second offence, six months' jail or up to $2,000 in fines.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

More people were caught driving without a licence over the past five years, as the number of offenders increased by 55 per cent from 921 in 2014 to 1,435 last year, said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Offenders included those who drove with a revoked or invalid licence, or without a prior licence.

Singapore Road Safety Council chairman Bernard Tay said there may be more offenders now because of a perception that they are unlikely to be caught. It could also be that more people are private-hire or commercial drivers.

He is supportive of heavier penalties that were proposed under a new Bill tabled in Parliament earlier this month.

Under this Bill, those who drive without a licence could face stiffer penalties soon. First-time offenders could face three years' jail or a fine of up to $10,000. A second offence could draw up to six years' jail or a fine of up to $20,000.

Current penalties are three months' jail or up to $1,000 fine for the first offence, and for the second offence, six months' jail or up to $2,000 in fines.

Proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act include heavier penalties for those who drive under disqualification or suspension.

 
 

For a second offence, those who continue to drive while under disqualification will face double the current penalties - a six-year jail term or up to $20,000 in fines. Current penalties are three years' jail or a fine of up to $10,000 for the first and subsequent offence.

Those who drive under suspension will face heavier jail terms under proposed penalties, of up to two years' jail or a fine of $5,000 for the first offence, and up to four years' jail or a $10,000 fine for the second offence.

Current penalties are up to a year in jail or a $5,000 fine for the first offence, and three years' jail or a fine of up to $10,000 for the second.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2019, with the headline 'Spike in numbers booked for driving without licence'. Print Edition | Subscribe