[2024 Update] Bus lane laws: The rules and what to do if you get fined

Published by on . Updated on 4 Apr 2024


 (Photo Credit: AsiaOne

Hands up if you've ever driven in bus lanes to get out of slow-moving traffic!

Stop-and-go traffic, jams and tricky road turns make bus lanes all the more tempting when it comes to getting past those kiasu drivers and reaching your destination on time. But now, buses fitted with video cameras and traffic wardens camped beside bus lanes wait to slap you with a $130 fine. Better to be safe than sorry and risk getting a hefty and unnecessary fine. Here are some key notes to take to avoid getting summoned, and tips on how to appeal if you do.

Let's start with the rules.

Types of Bus Lanes

The first thing to note are the two types of bus lanes:

Types Of Bus Lane

 (Photo Credit: One Motoring

Marked by a single yellow line, normal bus lanes are reserved solely for approved vehicles during peak hours with periods in between for normal motorists to use. Full day bus lanes, which are the same except for another red line, operate throughout the morning peak hour to evening peak hour without the period in-between.

Operating Hours
 Days   Normal Bus Lanes   Full-Day Bus Lanes
Mondays to Fridays 7.30am - 9.30am
5pm - 8pm
7.30am - 11pm
Saturdays None 7.30am - 11pm
Sundays & Public Holidays None None

You can get the list of Normal and Full-Time bus lanes here.

Since 2nd June 2008, buses that drive along routes with bus lanes were fitted with video cameras to record bus lane offenders. Traffic wardens have also been deployed at hotspots islandwide where buses have been obstructed to record license plate numbers of those who infringe bus lanes. You may have saved some time using the bus lanes, but luck may not always be on your side.

Do's and Don'ts

If you find yourself near or inside bus lanes during restricted hours, know what you can and cannot do to avoid getting summoned.

Bus Lane Do 1

Do not drive in the bus lanes. 

Bus Lane Do 2

Filter in and out only at dotted bus lanes.

Bus Lane Do 3

Stopping, picking up or letting passengers alight along bus lanes is not allowed. 

 (Photo Credit: One Motoring

If you drive a bus (scheduled or non-scheduled), you can use bus lanes. However, non-scheduled buses such as school or factory buses are not allowed to stop, drop off, or pick up passengers along the bus lanes. Other than buses, vehicles such as emergency vehicles, police vehicles, and bicycles are also permitted to use the bus lanes.

What Happens If You Get Fined and What to Do


If you have been caught, you may be fined a hefty $130. If you do not give way to buses exiting bus stops in the Mandatory Give-Way to Buses Scheme, you may also be liable for a $130 fine should you be caught. Rest assured, the fine does not come with any demerit points.

However, refusal to pay the fine may result in fine in court of up to $1,000 or three months of imprisonment (if this is your first time convicted in court and if your offence is not compounded).

What To Do 

In many cases, offenders have been caught in bus lanes out of sheer bad luck and misdirection. Jams, turns that are too close to the bus lane, and unfamiliar roads are all common reasons people wrongly use the bus lanes even without intending to do so. If you are part of this group of people, you might have a strong case to appeal and waive the fine! If you are a first-time offender, there is also a possibility that they may waive the fine.

If so, you can try these methods to maximise your odds of getting a second chance!

When Writing the Appeal

Be sincere, sound repentant and apologise while appealing for the waiver. If you are a first-time offender, assure them that you will not repeat the same mistake. If you do have some issues with payment of the fine, such as insufficient funds, it could be something to add on in your appeal to help them understand your plight better.

If your offence was due to uncontrollable circumstances like jams, unfamiliar roads, or a turn too close to the bus lane, say so! You have a strong case, and you can even ask them to cite the details and ask them to review the evidence.

However, if your offence was with necessary reason such as rushing to the hospital with your wife in labour or a situation where time is of the essence, then state so - they may empathise and let it slide this time. Do not make it a sob story though, it just makes your appeal seem like a lie to evade the fine.

If you need some reference for how it should go, you can have a look at our appeal letter template and follow that. 

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Sua Siang Fong
What is the appeal web site for bus lane?

about 5 years ago

Meeuwis Mstf
Hi, may i know where is the location which i can drop by for an appeal personally as mentioned ?

over 5 years ago

Hi for motorcycle if i ride on top of the thick yellow line*buslane* will i still get fined?

over 6 years ago

Eugene Law
hi there , when you mentioned: " You can even try to make the way down in person to try to appeal, and if unsuccessful, pay the fine on the spot. " where is the location to visit ?

over 6 years ago