singapore road

Last September, Singapore made changes to its Road Traffic Act, and new rulings brought about by these revisions will come into effect from February 1. One particular amendment to the rules concerns the use of mobile devices while on the move, The Straits Times reports.

Starting from the beginning of next month, it will be illegal for a driver to use or hold any type of mobile device while the vehicle is on the move. Prior to this, only texting or making a call on a mobile phone was deemed an offence, but changes to the law now makes it an offence to use or hold a mobile device while driving.

Which means you can be caught if you’re spotted fooling around with your mobile device while on the move – you can’t surf the web, do Twitter or Facebook routines or even download material, period. The short of it is, as long as you’re using a device in your hand while you’re driving, you can be charged.

Mobile devices

Specifically, the term mobile device constitutes any hand-held equipment that is designed or is capable of being used for telecommunication, so the rules apply to tablets as well.

Presumably, this law should apply to all drivers on Singaporean roads, so Malaysians driving about in the republic, take note. Penalties will be severe – first-time offenders face a fine of up to SGD$1,000 (RM2,680) and/or a six-month jail term, while repeat offenders are set to be slapped with a fine of up to SGD$2,000 (RM5,360) and/or up to 12 months in jail.

The ST report adds that the amended rules don’t mention wearable technology such as the Google Glass, but says that the use of such devices might be classified as inconsiderate driving, an offence that translates to a SGD$1,000 fine and a six-month jail term.