There’s a long jam ahead on the CTE or PIE on your way home, and you’re stuck in the middle of it.
You sneak a glance over at the empty road shoulder, wondering if you can use it to bypass everyone.
If it’s not for an emergency situation, you’re out of luck.
The road shoulder on Singapore expressways – as it is in every other nation – is meant for emergency purposes.
That means you can use the shoulder to stop if someone in the car is ill, or if the car is suffering a mechanical breakdown, among other reasons.
Stopping along the road shoulder of expressways is “a dangerous act”, wrote the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a reply to media.
“Unnecessary stopping or parking not only hinders the use of the road shoulder by emergency response agencies in an emergency but also endangers all motorists as accidents could occur with other vehicles,” the letter read.
Errant motorists who stop along the shoulder for no proper reason can be levied fines of between $130 to $160 and hit with four demerit points.
Officially, the road shoulder is defined as “the narrow strip along the left or near side of a carriageway which is constructed with a surface suitable for a motor vehicle to move along or stop and is distinguishable from the carriageway by a continuous white marginal strip”.
(Pan around the image above. The strip on the left is the road shoulder.)
The Road Traffic (Expressway Traffic) Rules states that “no vehicle shall be driven, moved, stopped or allowed to remain at rest on any shoulder or verge”, except in accordance with the rules set forth below.
(2) Where it is necessary for a vehicle to stop or remain at rest while it is on an expressway —
(a) by reason of a breakdown or mechanical defect or lack of fuel, oil or water required for the vehicle;
(b) by reason of any illness, accident or emergency;
(c) to permit any person in or on the vehicle to recover or remove any object which has fallen on the expressway; or
(d) to permit any person in or on the vehicle to give help to any other person in any of the circumstances specified in this paragraph, the vehicle shall, as soon as is practicable, be driven or moved off the carriageway to the shoulder or verge on the left or near side of the vehicle.
(3) A vehicle which is at rest on a shoulder or verge in any of the circumstances specified in paragraph (2) —
(a) shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, remain at rest on that shoulder or verge in such a position that no part of it or of any load carried obstructs or is a cause of danger to any other vehicle using the carriageway; and
(b) shall not remain at rest on that shoulder or verge longer than is necessary in those circumstances.
Also for drivers who are thinking of stopping on the central divider, that is also not cool at all.
Additionally, the Rules state that they shall not apply to emergency and government vehicles:
(a) a fire engine used for the purpose of extinguishing fires, of preserving life and property in case of fire or of aiding or rescuing persons in danger, or in case of an accident;
(b) an ambulance used for the purpose of aiding or rescuing persons in danger, or in case of an accident;
(c) a motor vehicle owned by the Government and used by the Singapore Police Force for the purpose of executing its functions; or
(d) a motor vehicle owned or authorised by the Authority for the purpose of executing the Authority’s functions.