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Singapore to further regulate autonomous vehicles and private-hire car services

Nayela Deeba | Feb. 9, 2017
To better support innovations in the transport sector while safeguarding commuter safety, says LTA

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) has tightened regulations around autonomous vehicles (AV) and private-hire car (PHC) services.

Proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act (RTA), which were passed on 7 February 2017, aim to better support innovations in the transport sector while safeguarding commuter safety, said LTA.

The amended RTA gives LTA the right to create and amend rules to facilitate AV trials on public roads, such as specifying the area and period for such trials.

LTA can also exempt AV operators from the existing legislation which requires a human driver to be responsible for the safe use of motor vehicles on the road. However, they need to ensure that a liability insurance is in place or deposit a fee to LTA during the trial period.

As for PHC services, LTA has introduced rules prescribing the duties and responsibilities of PHC booking service operators such as Uber and Grab. Operators need to ensure that all their drivers have vocational licences, and are adequately insured. They can be fined up to S$10,000 for every offence.

Apart from this, LTA is now able to bar PHC drivers from driving for a PHC booking service operator if they have committed three or more major offences within a year.

Drivers that go against this rule will be fined up to S$1,000, or be imprisoned not exceeding three months, or both for the first offence.

Subsequent offenders will face a fine of not more than S$2,000, or face a jail term of not more than six months or both. Their vocational licences may be suspended or revoked too.

 

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