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The Rundown on Singapore’s Demerit Points System

I hate demerit points. It reminds me back at my primary school when I’d accidentally forget my badge and get reprimanded by the disciplinary master. So yeah, getting demerit points while driving makes me feel like a kid getting scolded by Madame Bow. Great lady, but regularly scared me to death. But once I knew what she expected of me, changing my behaviour to ensure I was being a good student was easy. It’s the same with the demerit points system. 

Once you understand them and what they aim to achieve, it’s a lot easier to avoid them. 

The demerit points system is enforced by the traffic police whereby if you commit a traffic offence, you will accumulate demerit points under the Driver Improvement Points System (DIPS). Under this system, everyone starts off with zero demerit points, and should you commit a traffic violation worthy of demerit points, they’ll begin to add up. 

If you accumulate 24 or more demerit points within 24 months, you’ll be suspended for a period of 12 months. Furthermore, if you accumulate more than 24 points, you instantly face license suspension. 

There is no getting out of demerit points. Once you’ve got them, you’ve got them until they reset. The only way for them to reset is by waiting. Demerit points will be erased if you’re free from any traffic violations for 12 months since your last offence. 

So the best way to avoid demerit points is to understand why exactly you’d get demerit points. Here is a list of the most common violations, violations that you may not know are violations, and the major violations that you absolutely want to avoid. 

Most common violations that result in demerit points are: 

→ Exceeding the speed limit 

Fine: 4-24 demerit points, depending on how much you exceed the speed limit by

Speed limit exceeded by: Demerit points:
1-20 km/hr 4
21-30 km/hr 6
31-40 km/hr 8
41-50 km/hr 12
51-60 km/hr 18
More than 60 km/hr  24

→ Use of mobile phone while driving

Fine: 14 demerit points. The first offence includes a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, and in some cases, even both. However, it is not illegal to use a device that is mounted on a holder or dashboard. But do keep in mind that anything that may distract you while driving can lead to injuries, so usage of a mounted phone, while legal, should be limited. 

→ Failure of the driver to wear a seatbelt or of the driver to ensure that every single passenger is wearing a seatbelt 

Even though this may be caused by a passenger, the fine and demerit points will be issued to the driver, so make sure to buckle up, everyone.

Fine: 3 demerit points, and a $150-$200 composite fine. 

Violations that you may not know are violations:

→ Parking abreast of another vehicle, causing obstruction 

Fine: 3 demerit points, and a $120-$180 composite fine 

→ Causing a vehicle to be stopped in a zebra crossing 

Fine: 3 demerit points, and a $120-$180 composite fine

→ Parking within a Demerit Points No Parking Zone 

Fine: 3 demerit points, and a $120-$180 composite fine

Major violations that you absolutely want to avoid are: 

→ Reckless or dangerous driving

Fine: 26 demerit points and prosecution in court. 

→ Driving under the influence

Fine: Instead of demerit points, as a first time offender, you will be immediately disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s license for at least two years, and liable to a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or up to 1 year’s jail time. If you’re a repeat offender, you will be barred from holding or obtaining a license for at least 5 years, and be faced fines between $5000 and $20,000 and up to 2 year’s jail time. 

All in all, demerit points are easily avoided if you’re being a safe and careful driver. Rid yourself of distractions and do your part to keep both you, and the people around you, safe. 

However, if you do find yourself in a position where you’re unable to use your car anymore and you’d like to sell it, Carro is here to help. Submit your details to us and we take care of the rest. In one day, you’ll get the best price for your car.

Visit our website to learn more. 


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