SINGAPORE: Departing travellers driving Singapore-registered cars must comply with the “three-quarter tank” rule, and one man who was caught refused to abide by it. An Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer at the Woodlands Checkpoint instructed the driver to follow him, but the man accelerated his car instead, dragging the officer for several metres on Tuesday (Dec 12).

In a joint statement on Thursday (Dec 14), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and ICA said that the car nearly collided with a pedestrian and other nearby stationary vehicles. In its statement, the ICA said: “Preliminary investigations revealed that the Singaporean male driver intended to depart Singapore by car via Woodlands Checkpoint. He underwent a fuel gauge check at the departure car zone, and an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer noticed that the amount of fuel was below the stipulated level. The officer instructed the driver to hand over his passport, park the car, and follow him to the ICA Duty Office. The driver refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging the officer for several metres”.

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It added that because of the incident, the officer suffered bodily pain and was subsequently conveyed conscious to the hospital. The driver will be charged in court on Thursday. If found guilty of causing hurt by a rash act, he faces a jail term of up to a year, a fine which may extend to S$5,000 (US$3,700), or both.

The ICA added: “ICA officers stationed at the checkpoints carry out their duties to safeguard Singapore’s borders. Motorists using the checkpoints need to drive safely and abide by traffic rules not just for their own safety but also the safety of our officers. The authorities will take strict enforcement action against blatant breach of such rules. Departing travellers driving Singapore-registered cars are reminded to observe the “three-quarter tank” rule. Offenders may be issued with a composition sum of up to $500 or prosecuted in court. They will be turned back at the checkpoints and not allowed to proceed with their journey into Malaysia”.

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The driver will be charged in court on 14 Dec 2023 with the offence of causing hurt by a rash act which endangers the life or personal safety of others under Section 337(a) of the Penal Code 1871. The offence carries an imprisonment term which may extend to one year, a fine which may extend to $5,000, or both. /TISG