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Would you snitch on other road users for a S$500 reward?

Kimberley Ng
27/04/2022
2022 - traffic officer caught man in car- CarBuyer Singapore - 1

New apps in the UK and USA lets road users report on speeding and polluting cars for a share of the proceeds: should Singapore follow suit?   


US, UK

A new smartphone app titled Speedcam Anywhere allows residents in the United Kingdom to report speeding cars by submitting evidence to the police via the app. The app, currently in testing stages, is only available in the United Kingdom.

Up till now the UK has been using footage from dash cams and headcams to assist in investigations involving accidents and crimes on the road, similar to Singapore.

Speedcam Anywhere lets users upload videos reporting the speed of a vehicle, and AI software then analyses the video. 

Currently in Singapore the only channel for “feedback on road users” as the Traffic Police website suggests requires you to have a SingPass account, a valid email address, registration number of the vehicle(s) involved, and be willing to testify in court.



Meanwhile, residents of New York City can receive monetary rewards for reporting idling trucks on deliveries. The programme, launched in 2019 by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection is called Citizens Air Complaint Programme. 

Residents simply report a video of a commercial vehicle idling for more than three minutes and offenders will receive a fine of 350 USD (S$481) and upwards. A 25 percent cut from the penalty paid goes to the resident who tattled filed the complaint. 

Given Singapore’s propensity towards complaining, a system like this might be helpful in reducing emissions and also putting a stop to speeding drivers. 



In a similar vein, the National Environmental Agency (NEA) here encourages residents of Singapore to report vehicles with “idling engines or smoky emissions” to one of three platforms: the NEA hotline, the MyENV mobile app, or an online feedback form. 

According to the Environmental Protection and Management (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations in Singapore, it’s an offence to leave the engine of a vehicle idling while stationary if not in traffic. First offenders will be fined S$2,000 while repeat offences incur a S$5,000 fine.

A 25 percent cut of that fine means you’d net at least S$500 from reporting errant, ‘idle’ motorists. Given they’re killing the Earth and our lungs, it’s not a bad idea!

But while playing pseudo-police tends to be a pastime of Singaporeans (see: Citizens on Patrol by Singapore Police Force), implementing systems here – like those in place in New York City and the United Kingdom – could see citizen surveillance and ‘snitch culture’ eventually have serious ramifications on criminal proceedings and criminal law.


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Kimberley Ng

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