Singapore calls for stiffer fines on idling engines

Stiffer fines for repeat offenders who leave vehicle engines idling from June 1

One of the increasing concerns in developed cities was the increasing air pollution from the emission of the vehicles. These emission contribute to the increase levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, not only leading to global warming, but also contribute to increasing health problems and cancers.

While many car manufacturers are working hard to invent cleaner and lesser emission car (though Volkswagen decides to cheat) , the increasing number of cars in the cities will definitely fuelled air pollution further. As such, many countries’ authorities are starting to create more awareness of emission and regulations to curb further damage to the environment. That is no exceptional for Singapore as well.

Related: What Is The Fine For “Driving Thru” A Police Road Block

Stiffer Fines for Offenders

As early as in 2008, Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has been actively addressing this issue and passed a law under the Environmental Protection and Management Act to clamp down motorists who leaves their engine idling. However, there is was a sharp increase of engine idling offences over the years, NEA has imposed a stiffer fines for offenders.

Starting from 1st June 2016, motorist caught leaving their vehicle’s engine idling for a second or subsequent time shall be liable for a composition fine of $100, up from the current $70. If the composition sum is not paid, the offenders is liable to a maximum court fine of $5,000 upon conviction.

Related: Fines For Driving On Bus Lane During Designated Hours

Exception Cases

Though regulations apply to all motorist, but there are some scenarios which you will not be penalise.


  • Vehicles that requires engines to be switched on and running to power onboard machinery such as refrigerated trucks, concrete mixers, etc.
  • taxis/buses in queue at their designated stops, stands or terminals waiting to pick up/drop off passengers.
  • Law enforcement or emergency vehicles such as ambulances and police cars.
  • Vehicles undergoing maintenance check and inspection

Related: Drink Driving Will Revolve Your Licence In Singapore

Reasons Why Turning Off Engine is Good for You

Staying inside the vehicle, idling the engine while enjoying the air condition ? It might be the best comfort at that point of time, but definitely not the best for your health and wallet. Find out why you should turn off the engine and how it benefits you.

  1. The vehicle emits carbon monoxide while it was idling and depending on the maintenance done, leak from the exhaust will caused accumulation of CO which reduces the amount of oxygen needed for breathing air. Switch off the engine and get out of the car. Step out of the vehicle to inhale some fresh air while doing some stretching. In this case, you minimise your exposure to harmful gases and release your body from a fixed posture that might cause backaches.
  2. Though oil prices all over the world dipped dramatically over the months, apparently it is not happening in Singapore. With Singapore’s petrol and diesel prices (est. $2.30 for petrol and $1.10 for diesel) stagnant without much adjustment and economy downturn, it is time to save a few pennies by using lesser fuel. You can have better usage on the money saved.
  3. Mileage on the vehicles set only as a guideline on when you should carry out a maintenance, but excessive engine idling will increase wear and tear. By switching off the engine, you can lower your maintenance fees needed for the vehicle.
There is a great list of benefits that could help you and the environment, so why not give it a try ? Or you can get of Alon Musk’s electric car.

Reporting Someone Idling Engine ?

If you have spotted vehicles with the engine idling, you can report to the NEA providing details such as vehicle number, location, date and time of the incidents via the following communication channels:

  • NEA Hotline: 1800-CALL NEA (1800-2255 632)
  • Email: Contact_NEA@nea.gov.sg
  • myENV mobile app (iPhone and Android)

What is the price to pay for Spitting in the Public in Singapore

Wayne Rooney spitting on the football field
Hey Rooney, better not do that in Singapore publicly. Image: The Week

In many countries in the world, spitting on the streets is a common sight. This is specially in countries like Myanmar or Taiwan where chewing Betelnut are legal and filling the streets with red stains from the “juice” of the Betelnut. That will be a total different story in Singapore.

As to most of the foreigners, Singapore is well-known for its cleaness on the streets. That was also due to the strict enforcement by the government for such ungracious and unhygienic action.  The enforcement was implemented as early as mid-1980s but it becomes more stringent after the 2003 SARs outbreak. National Envoirnment Agency (NEA) stiffened its stand against the spitting habit in public.

Related: Corrective Work Order & Fines for Littering in Public in Singapore

Spitting – A Health Threat

From a medical point of view, spitting is not only just a social issue, but poses harmful to the environment. A research was conducted and studies show that coronavirus that is present in phlegm, sputum (mucus) and saliva can survive up to 6 hours in the air and more than 24 hours if the environment condition is optimal for the virus.

Hence, through spitting in the public, people are being exposed to virus that cannot be seen through naked eyes. It increases the risks of people being infected with the similar virus, for example SARs or MERS-CoV.


Related: Get Ready to be Fined for Drinking Alcohol in Late Night in Public

Stepping Up With The Enforcement

Since late 2012, a voluntary scheme was introduced, called “Community Volunteer Programme” that focus on catching litterbugs. 153 volunteers from five non-governmental organisations like the Public Hygiene Council, Waterways Watch Society, Cat Welfare Society and Singapore Kindness Movement has been trained and authorised to engage litterbugs.

However, in 2014, the Singapore’s authorities looks into increasing the authority not only to litterbugs, but also to offenders whom spit, urinate and smoke in prohibited places. Though there was ongoing discussion for the community volunteers to carry out such duties, the scheme has not yet been finalise.

A similar programme was carried out in UK as well and they have successfully prosecuted two youngsters to pay up 300 pounds for spitting in public.

Related: Fined for Smoking Indoors or Air-conditioned Public Places

What Is The Penalty ?

According to Environmental Public Health Act (Chapter 95, Section 113), spitting or expelling mucous from the nose, onto the street or floor which the public has access is liable of a fine not exceeding

  • S$ 1,000 for first offence;
  • S$ 2,000 for second offence and;
  • S$ 5,000 for third and subsequent offence

Related: Fined for Smoke Cigarettes Without Health Warning Labels in Public

So Where Should You Spit ?

If you need to spit, it is advisable to spit onto a piece of tissue and throw into the nearby rubbish bin or finding the nearest public toilet to do the dirty job. That will save you hundreds of dollars and why bother to take the risk ? However, spitting into one’s face does not spare you from getting the fine as well, like what Juraimi Kamaludin did.

This article was updated on 12 May 2016.

What is the fine for “driving thru” a road block in Singapore

What is the fine for "driving thru" a road block in Singapore

In Singapore, there are regular road blocks being conducted in the night by the traffic police to check on drivers – especially those that are driving under alcohol influence and suspected on drug trafficking. The operations are normally conducted in the late night in islandwide scale and randomly without any fixed dates.

If you are thinking of dashing across a road block in Singapore, you better think twice. A normal road block are usually conducted with a team of traffic police that consist of few units of police vehicles as well as motorcycles on standby. In case of evading a road block, there will be no qualms they will give you a chase, usually in pairs.

Any person convicted of evading a road block shall be liable to a fine of up to S$5,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment, or both.

Despite the strict regulations and fines, there are still 17 cases of road block evasions in the first quarter of 2016.

Related: Get ready to be fined for driving car into Singapore’s custom without a three quarter full tank

Beware being fined for drinking in late night hours in the public

Alcohol banned in late night in public places in singapore

It was no questions that drinking in the public is definitely not flouting the law, unless you are being a nuisance to the public which enforcers will come into pictures. However, it paints a different picture in Singapore.

A new law has passed on 1st April 2015 under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act which drinking alcohol is banned in all public places from 10.30pm to 7am. Retail shops are also not allowed to sell takeaway alcohol from 10.30pm to 7am as well.

Related: Drive drinking in Singapore will cost you your driving licence

What is the reason behind the ban ?

Foreign workers hurling objects at emergency vehicles at little india on 2013
Foreign workers seen hurling objects at emergency vehicles which they have overturned earlier.
Image: TNP.

Although there are already looming concerns over teenagers buying booze and seating in public areas, drinking and chatting away, there wasn’t a strict enforcement until the riot that broke out in Little India on 8th December 201344 years after the major communal riots in 1969.

The riot was sparked by a fatal accident when a Indian foreign worker, Sakthivel Kumarvelu, was run over by a private bus and was instantly killed. It angered the crowd (mostly foreign workers) which gathered more than 300 of them. Though the police, ambulance, Singapore Civil Defence Force have arrived at scene, they are being attacked by the mob, damaging 23 emergency vehicles, which 5 were torched. There was also 8 civilians that were injured in the riot as well.

The government took action immediately to mitigate the issues by setting up a Committee of Inquiry (COI) which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called upon to examined the testimonies of more than 300 witness.

In order to minimise public disorder, a banned was being imposed on the consumption and sales of alcohol in public places.

Related: Corrective Work Order and Fines for littering in Public in Singapore

Geylang and Little India designated as “Liquor Control Zones”

An immediate ban was imposed at Little India in 2013 starting from 6am on Saturdays and end at 6am on Monday, while on public holidays and the eve of public holidays, it starts at 6am on the eve and end at 6am the day after the public holiday.

In 1st April 2015, the Parliament has passed a revised law, zoning Geylang and Little India as Liquor Control Zones, which both areas are flooded with foreign workers during the weekend.

The law banned these two places from public drinking from 7am on Saturday to 7am on Monday every week. It also applies from 7pm of the eve of a public holiday to 7am of the day after public holiday.

Shops in Geylang and Little India are also prohibited to sell takeaway alcohol from 7pm on weekends, eve of public holidays, and public holidays.

Except for the two zones above, drinking is banned in all public places and retail shop are prohibited to sell takeaway alcohol from 10.30pm to 7am.
You can find out more extensive information of the ban here.

What are the penalty for flouting the ban ?

It is stated that anyone drinking illegally can be fined up to S$1,000 and repeat offenders may be fined up to S$2,000 and jailed for up to three months. 
A shop selling alcohol after the permitted hours could be fined up to S$10,000.
Tan Gak Hin slapped with S$1,000 fine for consuming alcohol after prohibited hours in public
Image: The Straits Time

In addition, a stricter penalty was imposed in Liquor Control Zone which offenders could be fine up to 1.5 times of the penalty above if caught breaking the law.

The first prosecution took place on 5th May 2016 which a 52-year-old man, Tan Gak Hin,  pleaded guilty consuming liquor during prohibited hours on 22nd February 2016. He was slapped with a S$1,000 fine subsequently for the offence.