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The objective of the Driver's Improvement Point System (DIPS) is to identify and suspend dangerous motorists from driving for a specified amount of time.
Category: Car Ownership Advice
Obtaining a driving license in Singapore takes quite a fair bit of time and effort. To ensure that all qualified drivers are proficient to drive safely on the road, one will have to go through a series of lessons and pass a mix of theory and practical tests, before they get their license.
Now, what's stopping you from driving dangerously and irresponsibly after you get your license? That would be the Driver's Improvement Point System (DIPS). DIPS was introduced in March 1983 with the objective to identify and suspend dangerous motorists from driving for a specified amount of time.
What is Driver’s Improvement Point System (DIPS)
You've probably heard of the demerit point system - unlike your exams and tests, with such a system, getting a lower score is better. With DIPS, all drivers start their driving journey with zero demerit points. Committing certain traffic offences would incur demerit points, your driving license would be suspended once you have accumulated more than 24 demerit points within 24 months.
Demerit points meted out take immediate effect on the date of offence - not on the date you receive the notice of the offence. No appeals for reduction or waiver of demerits points are allowed.
Demerit points accrued shall remain on record until a licence holder achieves a 12-months offence-free period. Licence holders who maintain a 24-month offence-free record will have all points and previous suspensions expunged from their records.
How are demerit points accrued?
Demerit points are meted out along with fines for certain serious traffic offences, such as speeding, reckless driving, failure to conform to traffic light signals and using mobile phones while driving. The severity of the offence will determine the amount of demerit points that applies.
Normally, 24 points is the limit before you'll get your driving license suspended, but probational drivers (who have just gotten their driving license within the past 12 months) and drivers who had just had their driving suspension lifted, can only accumulate up to 12 points within 12 months before their license would be suspended.
Oh no, my demerit points are through the roof!
If you have accrued more than 24 or 12 demerit points (probational and previously suspended drivers), you will have your license suspended again!
Luckily, all is not lost, even with a license suspension. There is a DIPS Re-Training course available at the driving centres, which is a one and half day program that you can complete to get shorten the period of your license suspension.
However, do note that if you have committed serious traffic infractions that results in a driving license suspension of 12 months or longer, your driving license will be revoked - should you wish to get behind the wheel again, you'll have to re-sit for the driving theory and practical tests, all over again.
Driving safely is rewarded
By driving safely, and avoiding traffic offences, you won’t have to worry about demerit points and fines, and most importantly, you won't risk that precious license that took much effort and money to acquire.
Additionally, drivers with clean driving records for three years will get to enjoy a 5% discount when renewing their motor insurance policy at participating insurance companies. This discount is on top of the usual No-Claim Bonus or NCD. They must not have made any claims on their vehicles' insurance for the past three years. Those eligible for this scheme will be notified by the Traffic Police. Drive safely and get rewarded for keeping everyone safe on the road!
This article was originally by Andy Hum and has been updated by Goh Zhi Xuan on 8 October 2021*