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Singapore motoring offences in Malaysia. Don’t get caught out!
We’ve all known that affronted feeling when facing a traffic offence and fine – it couldn’t have been me, I wasn’t speeding, I didn’t run that red light.
But imagine being caught by cops on your way back to Singapore after a trip to Malaysia unaware a traffic offence had been sitting on your car’s record.
Checks on cars on their way back across the border at Johor Bahru have stepped up recently. And according to Malaysian authorities Singaporeans are the worst traffic offenders, probably not because we have the worst driving habits, but because many of us frequently go back and forth across the border.
In fact, for the period between 2010 and 2016 Singaporeans recorded the highest number of offences with 184,014 summonses.
Getting stung with an outstanding traffic summons and a fine is bad enough, but when it comes out of the blue it can be especially annoying.
How can I check if I have a traffic offence?
So you may have that nagging feeling you’ve been caught for a traffic offence while across the border or you may just want to check you’re in the clear before you travel?
The good news is that you can easily check online for any traffic offences in Malaysia and any outstanding fines can also be paid.
Traffic offences can be checked and paid through government portals www.myeg.com.my and www.rilek.com.my. You can also use the AXS app, (you may already pay some Singapore bills using this App). You will need to set up an account, or register and add in contact details to access information on these sites or the App.
What to do if you have a traffic offence
These are the three most common situations if you find yourself with an offence
1. You have committed a traffic offence but you didn’t realise it.
2. The traffic offence relates to the vehicle before you owned it.
3. There is an unexplained reason for an offence which you may well struggle to get to the bottom of without a lot of hassle and expense.
In all three situations it is probably best to pay up and move on.
You can appeal your offence but this would involve a visit to a Malaysian police station and the chances of you getting a discount or getting off altogether are slim.
Most traffic offences usually involve a fine and these usually increase if you fail to pay within 15 days.
If you have outstanding traffic summons and travel into Malaysia again you will probably be stopped when trying to re-enter Singapore at the Malaysian customs point.
From time to time Malaysian authorities have a big crack down on traffic offenders and tighten up on checks. This might involve stopping and checking all cars attempting to cross back into Singapore from Johor Bahru.
Not only does this cause massive tailbacks but if you are on their list as a traffic offender then you are expected to pay the fine there and then. If you have enough cash or a credit card to do so you will be released. If you cannot pay then there might be worse consequences, like your vehicle being confiscated and only returned once you have paid.
Best to avoid traffic offences
It’s best, of course, to avoid getting a traffic offence in the first place. You should employ best driving practice whether in Malaysia or in Singapore, but sometimes it is not uncommon for us to suddenly take on new driving habits in a foreign country or take risks we wouldn’t normally contemplate.
Here’s a reminder from the motoring team at Budget Direct Insurance of some of the most common traffic offences people get caught for in Malaysia. You may see other drivers trying these moves but best if you steer clear.
* Never use the emergency lane, even if you see others using it. It is there for emergencies.
* Don’t go through red lights. This is a very common offence in Malaysia and the authorities take a dim view of it as it causes so many accidents.
* Always overtake in a safe way and never overtake from the left. You may see other drivers doing this but it is an offence and you can be fined for it.
* Speeding is also a serious offence. Look for speed limit signs. On expressways the speed limit for cars is usually 110km/h, Federal and State roads 90 km/h. However, this may change if you are in a mountainous area, a crosswind area, or an urban area with heavy traffic or during a festive period, so you need to look out for speed limits and signs.
* Not wearing a seatbelt and having too many people in the car. Everyone needs to have a seat with a belt and be using it.
* Using a mobile phone or device when driving. Last year the authorities announced that using a hand phone caused 35% of accidents in Kedah state last year.
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Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good car cover.
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