Back To Basics

3 min read
Refresh your memory with these basic traffic rules — and the price you’d have to pay for breaking them. 

Since most of us have been driving for years, it is easy to become complacent or forgetful of the fundamental traffic rules. Even if you are familiar with them, you may be surprised at the punishments for violating some of these simple rules. In this article, we elaborate on a few essential ones. You never know, they could save not just your wallet but your life!

‘GIVE WAY’ RULE
You should always give way to traffic coming from your right, such as when you are joining a main road or a roundabout. This may already be common knowledge to you, but what happens in an uncontrolled junction with traffic coming from all directions? Well, the same rule applies unless you are turning right, where you should give way to traffic coming from all directions. Breaking this rule can leave you with a fine of up to $130 and four demerit points.

‘THREE-SECOND’ RULE
This rule is an easy way to make sure you aren’t driving too close to the vehicle in front of you. Take note of a stationary object, such as a lamp post or tree by the road side. Once the vehicle in front of you passes this object, begin counting ‘one-thousand-and-one, one-thousand-and-two, one thousand-and-three’. By the time you finish saying that, you should have just passed that same object, no matter your speed. If you passed the object before you finished the three-second count, you are too near the car in front of you and need to slow down. While tailgating is not a traffic violation, this technique can help you stay within the speed limit and avoid serious fines. Remember to double the safe following distance in bad weather conditions.DON’T USE YOUR MOBILE DEVICE
You hear this all the time, but for good reason. It may only take you two seconds to reply to a text or answer a call while driving, but that is enough for you to be charged with a whopping $1,000 fine, 12 demerit points, and even six months in jail. If you’re caught a second time, the fine and jail time will be doubled. That text or call can definitely wait! But beyond the possibility of a financial setback, using mobile devices is highly distracting and thus dangerous when you are on the roads — is your life worth sending a silly WhatsApp message?

STAYING WITHIN THE SPEED LIMIT
Unless otherwise indicated, the universal speed limit of all roads in Singapore is 50km/h. With speed cameras and the traffic uncles and aunties always on the lookout, stick to this speed if you aren’t sure what the limit is. The punishment for speeding is a fine of up to $170 and, in serious cases, a trial in court. But most significantly, speeding endangers both your life and the lives of other drivers. It is a risk not worth taking.  In reality, speeding doesn’t save you lot of time, especially in Singapore’s context.RIGHT LANE, AKA ‘OVERTAKING LANE’
You may always be shifting to the emptiest lane to avoid getting stuck behind traffic, but keep in mind that the right lane is meant for overtaking and emergency vehicles only, especially on the expressway. According to the Land Transport Authority, obstructing traffic is considered road hogging, and can cost you $1,000 and three months’ imprisonment.

Safe Driving Workshop 
Practise these rules and more at AAS Academy’s Safe Driving Workshop. For more information, visit: https://aasacademy.com.sg/our-services/driver-and-fleet-training/safe-driving-workshop

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