Police have to exercise discretion, make exceptions on occasion: SPF on double yellow line issue

Police have to exercise discretion, make exceptions on occasion: SPF on double yellow line issue

Channel NewsAsia·2017-12-31 20:25

The authorities were responding to a letter about the lack of summons issued for cars belonging to President Halimah Yacob's convoy that were waiting along double yellow lines earlier this month.

A photo circulating on social media showed a traffic officer approaching a driver waiting along a stretch marked with double yellow lines along Prinsep Street.  

SINGAPORE: Police officers will seek to observe traffic rules and regulations but there will be occasions when they may have to exercise their discretion and make exceptions, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Saturday (Dec 30). 

This was in response to a letter published in Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao about the lack of summons issued for cars belonging to President Halimah Yacob's convoy that were waiting along double yellow lines earlier this month. 

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SPF had earlier said in a joint statement that an LTA enforcement officer was conducting his routine patrol along Prinsep Street on Dec 20 when he noticed two vehicles waiting along a stretch marked with double yellow lines.

The officer approached the vehicle to ask the driver to drive off, and the driver informed the LTA enforcement officer that he was there to pick up the President who was leaving the place. In the midst of the conversation, the President arrived and the driver drove off. No summons were issued, the authorities said. 

The author of the letter in Lianhe Zaobao, Long Jidong, wrote that the officers did not abide by traffic regulations and said they should have been punished. 

"It is against the law to park double yellow lines to obstruct traffic. Drivers of public sector vehicles should set an example by not stopping on the double yellow line," he wrote in the letter, which was published on Thursday. 

In their response on Saturday, SPF said official vehicles may need to be in close proximity to the event location for security reasons and to facilitate quick evacuation. 

"When responding to law enforcement situations, police vehicles often have to be parked in locations which enable swift, effective operations. And often, if there is no easily accessible car park (which fit the right security profile), then so as not to expose the person under protection, the vehicles will be driven near to the place where it is suitable to arrange a pick up, even if otherwise parking in such a place is not allowed," the police said in the reply. 

"Police officers will assess the situation, including public safety, when making these decisions. They are trained to do so."

SPF added that this is similar to what is being practised by police forces in many other countries.

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Singapore Transport Police President