Amendments to the Road Traffic Act Bill

News Releases 16 Nov 2012 Road Traffic Act (RTA) Factsheet

The amendments to the Road Traffic Act (RTA) bill read in Parliament today encompass the following:

i) Imposition of taxes and granting of rebates for vehicles according to carbon emission levels;
ii) Strengthening the bus infrastructure licensing and bus security regime;
iii) Enhancing the penalty framework for illegal modification of vehicles;
iv) Improving the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) operational effectiveness and efficiency.

Intent and key provisions of the Bill

i) Implementation of the Carbon Emission-based Vehicle (CEV) scheme

As announced by the Minister for Finance during the 2012 Budget Statement and the Minister for Transport during the Committee of Supply 2012, the new CEV scheme will be implemented in 2013. The CEV scheme will apply to all new cars, taxis and newly imported used cars registered with effect from 1 January 2013.

Under the CEV scheme, buyers of cars with low carbon dioxide emissions stand to enjoy rebates of between $5,000 and $20,000 while those who buy high carbon-emission cars will incur a corresponding registration surcharge of between $5,000 and $20,000.

Taxis generally clock higher mileage than cars. To encourage taxi companies to adopt lower emission models for their fleet, the CEV rebate and registration surcharge for taxis is set at 50% higher between $7,500 and $30,000 compared to cars.

The CEV rebates will be implemented from 1 January 2013. The surcharges will only take effect 6 months later, from 1 July 2013 to give consumers and the motor industry more time to adjust.

To enable LTA to operationalise the scheme, the RTA will be amended to include a new Section 11AA for LTA to grant CEV rebates and impose CEV surcharges.

Table 1

CEV BANDINGS

Band

Carbon emission

(CO2 g/km)

REBATE

(FROM 1 JAN 2013)

SURCHARGE

(FROM 1 JULY 2013)

Cars

Taxis

Cars

Taxis

A1

0 to 100

$20,000

$30,000

 

 

A2

101 to 120

$15,000

$22,500

 

 

A3

121 to 140

$10,000

$15,000

 

 

A4

141 to 160

$5,000

$7,500

 

 

B

161 to 210

$0

$0

$0

$0

C1

211 to 230

 

 

$5,000

$7,500

C2

231 to 250

 

 

$10,000

$15,000

C3

251 to 270

 

 

$15,000

$22,500

C4

271 & above

 

 

$20,000

$30,000


ii) Licensing of bus depot, strengthening the licensing regime for bus infrastructure and enhancing security in public bus system

Amendments to Part VB are to strengthen the overall licensing regime for bus infrastructure, and increase the level of security in the public bus system. These amendments will allow LTA to grant licences for the bus operators to operate depots; and include licensing conditions such as maintenance of premises, management of crises and provision of travel information.

It will also allow LTA to issue or approve codes of practice for the licensee to comply with in various areas including safety and security. To impose new security standards on the existing bus fleet, Clause 9 provides for LTA to modify the conditions of a Public Service Vehicle Licence. Clause 22 will allow authorised public transport officials to conduct security bag checks on public buses and in bus interchanges, similar to the bag checks in MRT stations today.


iii) Enhancing the penalty framework for illegal modification of vehicles

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of illegal modification offences. Clause 3 of the Bill will provide LTA powers to apply to the court, when necessary, to detain illegally modified vehicles for up to 3 months upon conviction. The enhanced penalty framework will serve as a strong deterrence to discourage such offences and encourage voluntary compliance with vehicular construction requirements.

iv) Enhanced operational effectiveness with regularisation of work procedures

(a) Extension of application of the RTA to roads where the public has no free access

Based on the existing definition of "road" in section 2 of the RTA, the Act is not applicable to roads where the public has no free access. Amendments will empower Minister to extend the application of the RTA to roads where the public has no free access so as to enable enforcement of the RTA and traffic rules.

(b) Exemption on vehicle technical requirements

Amendments will allow the Registrar of Vehicles to grant exemptions on vehicle technical requirements in certain circumstances, for example allow tinted glass for a vehicle used by a person with medical conditions.

(c) Liability on vehicle owners for driver-related offences

Amendments to Section 83 provides for LTA to hold vehicle owners liable for more driver-related offences.

Currently, section 83 of the Act deems the registered owner of a vehicle liable for specific offences relating to illegal parking and non-payment of ERP charges, unless the owner provide the particulars of the driver responsible for those offences to the LTA within a specific timeframe. This prevents vehicle owners from skirting the principal offence by refusing to furnish the particulars of the driver who had committed the offence. Clause 8 of the Bill amends section 83 to provide for more offences to be included, such as driving in bus lanes during operating hours, failing to give way to buses where it is mandatory to do so, and driving an off-peak car without a valid e-day licence. 

(d) Cancellation of registration of vehicles reported stolen or missing through Commercial Breach of Trust (CBT)

Presently, the Registrar relies on subsidiary legislation to de-register vehicles reported stolen or missing through CBT. Clause 6 empowers the Registrar to de-register vehicles reported stolen or missing through CBT.

(e) Auto-creation of user account for vehicle owners

Currently, section 33B(2) of the RTA requires consent from vehicle owners before LTA can create and issue a user account to vehicle owners to access LTA’s e-Services via the ONE.MOTORING portal. Examples of these e-Services are: updating of the owner’s particulars and printing of vehicle particulars. This consent is submitted together with the application form for new vehicle registration and transfer of vehicle ownership. For successful COE bidders, consent is not obtained as the bids are submitted electronically. To streamline processes and make it more convenient for vehicle owners, amendments to Section 33B will allow LTA to create an electronic user account for any person who needs to transact with LTA, without making an application.

(f) Vocational Licence for driving Public Service Vehicles

Section 110(1)(a) stipulates that no person shall drive a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) without a valid vocational licence. This implies that a vocational licence is required to drive a PSV, regardless of whether the driver is conveying any passengers. Section 110(1)(b) prohibits any person to employ or permit another person who does not hold a valid Vocational Licence to drive a PSV when the vehicle is being used to convey passengers for hire or reward.

For consistency, amendments to section 110(1)(b) of the RTA will remove the condition that the vehicle must be used for conveyance of passengers for hire or reward before it can be invoked. This makes it an offence for the owner of a PSV to permit anyone without a vocational licence to drive it, regardless of whether passengers are being conveyed.

(g) Mailing address for vehicle owners

Clause 23 will allow LTA to send correspondences by normal post as well as accept a mailing address other than the place of residence or place of business of vehicle owners.

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