As part of ongoing efforts to enhance the road safety of road users, the Traffic Police introduced changes to the Wearing of Seat Belt Rules from 1 January 2012.
From 1 January 2012, anyone below the height of 1.35m will require to be secured with a child restraint appropriate for a person of that height and weight. Those with a height of 1.35m and above, irrespective of their age, will require wearing a seat belt. This rule applies to cars, station wagons or vehicles with double-cabs. Child restraints are designed to offer maximum protection for your child, should an accident occur. The penalty for failing to comply is a $120/- fine and 3 demerit points for the driver. Offenders may be charged in court. A first-time offender may be fined up to $1,000/- or jailed up to 3 months. Repeat offender may be fined up to $2,000/- or jailed up to 6 months.
Here's a list of most commonly asked questions, along with the answer to each of them, to facilitate public's understanding on this matter. If you require clarification, you may email to Traffic Police at SPF_Feedback_TP@spf.gov.sg .
What if taxi do not have child seats?
Taxi are exempted from the child seat requirement, as it would not be reasonable or practical for them to carry the variety of different-size child seats suitable for children of different ages. Parents should take precaution and ensure that the child sits still and not jump about in the taxi.
Are pregnant women required to use seat belts?
The law does not exempt pregnant women from the seat belt rules. The public might wish to note that it is safer for a pregnant woman to be belted up as it protects the fetus. For those in advanced stages of pregnancy, they are advised to tuck the lap belt just below their stomach area for comfort and safer use. However, if one wishes to be exempted from the rule one will need to submit a medical certification to Traffic Police for consideration. A medical board will be convened to look into the case.
What are the penalties for drivers and passengers of private cars who are not belted up?
$120 fine will be imposed on the passenger who is not belted up. The driver will be fined $120 and given 3 demerit points for failing to ensure that his passenger is belted up. (If e.g. 3 passengers are not belted up, the driver will be fined only $120 and given 3 demerit points for not ensuring that his 3 passengers are not belted up.)
If the driver is not belted up, he/she will be fined $120 and given 3 demerit points.
If my friend has a kid who is below 1.35m in height and they want to hitch a ride in my car and my car has no child seats, will I be penalized if I were stopped by TP?
All private vehicles that come with seat belts will have to abide by the seat belt rules so if you have a child below 1.35m in height travelling with you, you will need to have a child seat for him. Generally, our officers will exercise flexibility if such rides are infrequent and on ad-hoc basis. However, if the rides are frequent or regular, it is advised that you discuss with your friend on investing in a child seat.
What if I need to get my child out of the car quickly? Won't a child restraint delay me?
Such cases are rare. Furthermore, most child safety seats have quick-release buckles, making it easy for adults to unfasten.
How can I get my child used to a safety seat?
Present the safety seat as a special place for the child to sit. You can also allow toddlers to play with the seat in the house, using it to hold their dolls or teddy bears.
What if my child is below 1.35m, but big-sized. Does he still have to wear a child restraint?
In such cases, children should use booster seats to raise their height to the level where they can safely use adult seat belts. Traffic Police will exercise flexibility in these cases.
Will my baby be uncomfortable in a baby capsule?
You could try padding the seat with other soft materials.
Why must children below 1.35m in height be secured in child safety seats?
Children below 1.35m are not tall enough to use a seat belt safely. They are therefore best protected in a child safety seat.
How can I encourage active children to remain in a safety seat?
Try to keep their attention occupied with soft toys or books. If possible, an adult should sit next to the child and tell stories, play games etc.
*All information is from the Singapore Police Force