Are queue-cutting motorists largely to blame for jams at Singapore's land checkpoints, and how can improvements be made?
Are queue-cutting drivers and motorcyclists to blame for jams at land checkpoints linking Singapore and Malaysia, or are there deeper issues at play? TODAY readers discussed the topic this week, after Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament that such inconsiderate behaviour is indeed partly behind the congestion.
Are queue-cutting drivers and motorcyclists to blame for jams at land checkpoints linking Singapore and Malaysia, or are there deeper issues at play?
TODAY readers discussed the topic this week, after Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said in Parliament that such inconsiderate behaviour is indeed partly behind the congestion.
However, Mr Shanmugam also brought up infrastructure and manpower constraints that limit the extent to which Singapore can open up more immigration counters — issues which many readers agreed needed tackling.
Some also suggested levying congestion surcharges and building dividers between the lanes. Here’s a selection of comments.
INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUES AND SUGGESTIONS
The root of the problem is the number of (immigration) lanes that are open! KARAMJIT SINGH
Solve the queue first by opening more counters especially during peak (periods). And stagger the timing of shift changes. By now, they (the authorities) should know what timings have the most cars passing through and should have more counters and less shift changes then. BENSON OH
I've seen the designs in some other countries — build a proper road divider between the heavy vehicle, motorcycle and car lanes from 2km (before) the checkpoint, not just lane markers. This way there'll be no way for the queue jumpers to cut in and out. HO YEW CHIN
“Perhaps open a third link near Punggol or Pasir Ris so those in the East can use this instead of Woodlands and the Second Link at Tuas.BENEDICT LOW”
Perhaps widening the Causeway and opening more gantries may help? JEREMY LEE
If the checkpoint authorities do not open all booths and clear all cars fast, the drivers who need to run to the bathroom will have no alternative but to cut the queue… Please do not blame them. RAVI K RAMASAMY
If Singapore drivers don’t do it (cut queue), the Malaysian drivers would and vice-versa. There is no end to this unless there is a new Causeway with clear lanes demarcated for different vehicle categories with no option for queue cutting. VERNON LIM
Should segregate the car, bike and heavy vehicle lanes so as to stop queue-cutters. The causeway bridge is long overdue for a revamp. ZMY MDY
WHAT ELSE CAN BE DONE?
Please do impose harsher fines for queue-cutters. FADZLY ISHAK
Install more closed-circuit television to catch these drivers (who cut queues) and stop their cars at the checkpoint to fine them S$1,000 and S$5,000 for repeat offenders. Nothing is more effective than burning a hole in their pocket. ERIC HO
“Queue-cutters should be hauled to one corner and made to wait for at least one hour.AARON KWEK”
Consider a security fee or tax for each person crossing over and back to Singapore. An additional charge for cars with surge pricing similar to Grab. All fees collected go to ICA (Immigration and Checkpoints Authority) for welfare of overworked staff, improving skills, better motivation and upgrading skills to use more AI (artificial intelligence) in identifying, fining and banning queue jumpers. TF PHANG
What happened to the cameras that are supposed to catch queue cutters? Not working? CHANDRAN JESS
CAN BOTH GOVERNMENTS DO MORE?
Leaders of both sides must make a greater effort to solve congestions at checkpoints. MARK LIM THIAM SENG
The two governments should seriously explore cross border ferry services near the existing Woodlands Checkpoint. The straits are not that wide and the fastest way is to use a ferry to ship travellers across. MICHAEL LIEW KHONG
Given the close ties between the two countries, is there a need to stamp Singapore passports? Why not think out of the box and implement one border crossing instead of two? NICHOLAS HO
Both sides need to increase their manpower to solve this problem. Pay the officers well and employ more people. If not, improve the custom process to clear at a faster rate. But it’s really not easy. LARRY LAI
These comments were first posted on TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. If you have views on this issue or a news topic you care about, send a letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.