Videos of traffic police checking child passengers’ heights stir road rules debate


It’s normal to see police officers scanning Singapore’s roads at night for speeding motorists or drunk drivers. But to halt vehicles for checks on child passengers’ heights? Not so much.

Videos showing traffic police officers stopping drivers in broad daylight to measure the heights of child passengers in their cars surfaced on Facebook yesterday.

The unusual sight of officers holding measuring tapes against kids who appeared to be around six years old as the adults looked on had piqued the curiosity of many, with all three clips that were posted racking up over 200,000 views accumulatively. It’s unclear where the checks were taking place.

Viewers who commented on the post, shared by Facebook user Huang Jiaxing, pointed out that the officers’ actions seemed to be connected to child safety rules on the road.

Those below the height of 1.35m are required in Singapore to use the child seat or approved adjustable seat belts to lower the risk of accidental injury.

Taxis, however, are exempted from this requirement as it is considered not “reasonable or practical” for parents to carry child seats wherever they go.

But a taxi driver could be fined S$120 and given three demerit points if he or she fails to ensure that the children are in the rear seat. If convicted in court, taxi drivers could be fined up to S$1,000 or jailed for up to three months.

These rules have been around at least since 2011 but are rarely seen being enforced by the traffic police. Coconuts Singapore has reached out to the police for more details on why the checks on child passengers are taking place only now.

Meanwhile, netizens praised authorities for their “good move” on the apparent efforts to ensure child safety on the roads.

A comment from Facebook user Yiwen Leong on the checks.
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A comment from Facebook user Yiwen Leong on the checks.
A comment from Facebook user Goh C Tee on the traffic police checks.
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A comment from Facebook user Goh C Tee on the traffic police checks.

Others, however, found it a nuisance.

A comment from Facebook user Richard Wong on the checks.
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A comment from Facebook user Richard Wong on the checks.

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