What constitutes a handphone driving offence in Singapore

My legal friend K sent this link over from the Police Force website, and I think it’s useful for all Singaporean drivers to know.
(I’m not sure if ‘handphone’ is an exclusively Singaporean term. To the Yanks, we’re talking about cellphones. To the Brits, we’re referring to mobiles).
There seems to be pretty strict liability here – the fact that you were using a hands-free kit does nothing to lessen the severity of the offence, as long as one hand was on the phone.
But I can understand what the lawmakers are getting at. Once as I was walking on the pavement around the Bugis area, a car swerved from the leftmost lane to the rightmost, causing other motorists to horn. As it cut across the 3 or 4 lanes, I noticed the driver was talking on the phone and steering his car with one hand. That happened years ago but the dramatic scene was etched into my mind.
Fortunately, my phone is usually plugged into the hands-free kit when I’m driving, and after a couple of rings it automatically answers the phone. Now I just have to remember NOT to press any buttons while the car is in motion – even to end the call (which happens by itself anyway, once the other person hangs up).


  1. zhi yang

    I recently had a chat with a korean friend and being in Canada, where the term handphone was non-existent. I was shocked when I accidentally blurted out the term handphone and my korean friend understood.

  2. Aaron

    hands-free laws are taking over everywhere I guess. We have one here in D.C. but fortunately, Maryland where I live, keeps killing their own hands free bills.

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