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Seat belt Rules in Singapore | Seat Belt Laws | DirectAsia

Seat Belt Rules in Singapore

Are you guilty of not wearing your seat belt when travelling in a car?

Under the Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles, Wearing of Seat Belts) Rules of 2011, the driver of a car has to ensure that every passenger is wearing a seat belt.

Passengers who are not will be fined S$120.

While previously the rule states that it is compulsory to have child restraints for children below the age of 8, the rules have been updated by removing the age criteria. Instead, the use of adult seat belts was found to be ideal for individuals with a height of not less than 1.35m. The height of an individual was also found to more suitable in deciding the proper fitting of seat belts compared to one's age.

Which cars are required to comply with Singapore's seatbelt rules?

  • All vehicles registered in Singapore on or after January 1, 1973 must observe front seatbelt rules
  • It is compulsory for all vehicles registered in Singapore on or after January 1, 1993 to observe rear seatbelt rules
  • Vehicles that have been registered before January 1, 1993 and which have rear seatbelts must comply with seatbelt rules as well

Do remember that it is illegal to remove factory-fitted rear seatbelts. Also, damaged seatbelts have to be repaired as soon as possible.

Taxis are exempted from the child restraint requirement as it is deemed impractical for public service vehicles to carry a variety of child seats of different-sizes that are suitable for children of different ages. Children or persons below the height of 1.35m shall only ride in the rear of the taxis.

What if there are more passengers than available seatbelts?

According to the seatbelt rule, all available seatbelts have to be used up. The decision regarding who should be belted up is yours.

While you may opt to carry more passengers than the number of available seatbelts, do remember that you are taking a risk by overloading your vehicle.

Are pregnant women required to wear seatbelts?

Pregnant women are not exempt from Singaporean seatbelt rules. It is potentially safer for a pregnant woman to wear a seatbelt as it better protects the fetus in case of an accident.

Women in advanced stages of pregnancy are advised to tuck the lap belt just below their stomach region for more comfort and safety.

Can I apply for an exemption if I am pregnant or have a medical condition that does not allow me to wear a seatbelt?

Yes. You will need a letter from your family doctor, which has to be submitted to the Traffic Police or to the Ministry of Health for approval.

Top Questions on Seatbelt Safety

Won't I run the risk of being trapped in a burning or submerged car if I wear a seatbelt?

Statistics have shown that less than one percent of injury-inducing collisions involve submersion or fire. In fact, wearing a seatbelt even in these situations can actually save your life!

If you are involved in a collision without your seatbelt, you could be rendered unconscious or stunned by striking some part of the car's interior. This can waste precious seconds and greatly lower your chances of escaping from a car that is burning or submerged.

Wearing your seatbelt makes you more likely to be unhurt, alert and able to escape faster.

What about child restraints in situations where I need to get my child out quickly?

Most child restraints have ‘quick-release’ buckles that can be quickly unfastened by an adult.

Why would I need a seatbelt in the rear seat?

Research has shown that wearing a seat belt even when sitting in the rear can save lives. Rear seat passengers who do not wear a seat belt are very likely to be flung forward in a collision. The force at which they are hurled forward can injure front seat passengers very seriously.

The same research determined that about 79% of front seat deaths could have been prevented if those sitting in the rear seats had worn their seatbelts.

What are the related penalties for not wearing a seat belt?

A fine of $120 will be imposed on adult passengers who fail to wear a seat belt.

If charged in court and convicted, the penalty shall be a fine not exceeding S$1,000 or  imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

Drivers who fail to belt up appropriately will receive a fine of $120 and 3 demerit points.

If charged in court and convicted, the penalty shall be a fine not exceeding S$1,000 or  imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.