Singapore

Traffic Police to stop issuing physical driving licences

The Traffic Police plans to stop issuing physical driving licences in its push towards digitalisation, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling said yesterday.

The Road Traffic Act will be amended so that motorists will no longer be required to surrender their physical licence if they do not have one, she added.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Sun said the Traffic Police no longer relies on physical licences to ascertain an individual's driving qualification as it can access the information using the person's NRIC and date of birth.

Other proposed changes announced by the Home Affairs Ministry include making clear in the law that a motorist's licence will be suspended or revoked four weeks from the date of notice, even if the motorist's appeal is being processed.

MISUSE OF APPEALS

This is because currently, some errant motorists delay the suspension or revocation of their licences by misusing the appeals mechanism. Where possible, the police will process and respond within two weeks of receiving an appeal, said Ms Sun.

Asked by Ms Rahayu Mahzam (Jurong GRC) whether the Traffic Police will extend the four-week notice period in exceptional cases, Ms Sun said it will be able to do so only for motorists to attend the Driver Improvement Point System Retraining Course.

The Bill also proposes that the licence suspension period be lengthened from the current three years to up to five years to deal with serial offenders. For example, motorists with six or more suspensions will have their licences suspended for five years. Last year, there were seven motorists who had six or more suspensions.

Other proposed amendments include allowing the courts to consider past road traffic offences as an aggravating factor when sentencing a convicted person for road traffic offences, as well as requiring motorists to stop their vehicles to render assistance to animals involved in accidents. - CHARMAINE NG

Transport