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Singapore’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) has announced that the government will be increasing the penalty for idling vehicle engine repeat offences from June 1. The move to impose a stronger deterrence against idling vehicle engines is part of the republic’s ongoing efforts to further improve its ambient air quality and safeguard public health, the agency said in a statement released today.

It said that the higher penalty for repeat offenders is being imposed following an upward trend of idling vehicle engine offences. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of enforcement cases grew from about 3,200 in 2013 to 3,800 in 2014 and 5,100 in 2015. The NEA added that during the first three months of 2016, it took action against 1,489 errant motorists for such offences.

Under the country’s environmental protection and management (vehicular emissions) regulations, it is an offence to leave the engine of a motor vehicle running when it’s stationary for reasons other than traffic conditions.

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From June 1, motorists caught leaving their vehicle engines idling for a second or subsequent time may compound the offence by paying a fine of SGDS$100 (RM291), which is being increased from the current rate of SGDS$70 (RM203). Failure to pay this will see the motorist being liable to a maximum court fine of SGD$5,000 (RM14,550) upon conviction.

The NEA says that regulations apply to all motorists driving all types of motor vehicles, except taxis/buses in a queue at their designated stops, stands or terminals waiting to pick up/drop off passengers or vehicles undergoing inspection or maintenance. Law enforcement or emergency services vehicles (such as ambulances or police cars) are also exempt from the rule.

The agency added it encouraged members of the public who spot parked idling vehicles to report them in.