Increased penalties, broader definition for evading road blocks on the cards

SINGAPORE – Penalties for evading police road blocks may soon be increased, while the definition for the offence may also be expanded.

These proposed changes are part of the Police Force (Amendment) Bill, which was introduced for its first reading in Parliament on Monday (July 5).

Currently, offenders may be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

Under the proposed amendments to the Police Force Act, the maximum penalty will increase to a jail term of up to seven years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The changes seek to strengthen deterrence and take reference from current laws that pertain to voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servants from meeting their duties, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which tabled the Bill.

There have been instances of offenders evading road blocks and endangering the lives of officers and other road users.

In 2017, two officers were injured after a driver dashed through a road block in Mackenzie Road.

What counts as road block evasion will also be broadened.

The current definition of road block evasion covers only motorists who physically dash through the road block with a vehicle, while other forms of evasion are not codified under the Act.

The amendments to the law seek to expand the existing offence to cover other ways motorists have been evading road blocks, said MHA.

These will include stopping the vehicle before a road block and alighting to escaping, reversing one’s vehicle away from a road block, and making a U-turn before the road block and escaping.

The proposed amendments also seek to make explicit police officers’ existing powers to put up barriers and cordons to control human traffic, and creates a corresponding offence for those who breach such barriers.

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