The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) issued a statement on December 19 to formally address multiple media queries on why the Woodlands and Tuas land crossings between Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, is so congested this month.
Travellers should check ICA’s Facebook page for regular traffic and situational updates at Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints. The Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System (EMAS) installed along BKE and AYE will also be updating travellers on the way.
ICA has gone to certain lengths to ensure that traffic gets cleared efficiently during peak times at the land checkpoints:
1) ICA monitors arrival and departure traffic conditions in real-time across the different modes of transportation, which include cars, buses, lorries and motorcycles and
2) ICA has put in effect what they call a “multi-pronged approach” in managing the congestion, facilitating the cross-deployment of officers and marking some lanes as flexible in order to clear the traffic quickly.
In response to queries about the crazy traffic situation between December 14 and 16, ICA said that lawless motorists who were queue-cutting and going across different lanes were the cause of the major congestion.
To add to that, there were two instances of car breakdowns on the Causeway in that period of time, and more disturbingly, there was one bomb hoax incident that needed to be dealt with.
“We would like to assure travellers that our officers are working round the clock and doing their utmost to ensure that travellers’ needs continue to be met without compromising security,” said ICA in the December 19 media statement, noting that many ICA officers have been working overtime.
“All our available resources are being used. From time to time, during shift changes or redeployment of officers to other high traffic areas, certain counters may have to be temporarily closed.”
To ensure that the traffic situation does not get out of hand, travellers have to do their bit as well.
ICA stressed the importance of planning ahead, regularly checking ICA’s Facebook page and the EMAS information, observing lane discipline and safety at all times, and cooperating with checkpoints officers so that things run smoothly.
The Traffic Police will also be on high alert to ensure discipline on the road.
ICA ended the advisory with this statement:
“ICA strives to ensure expeditious checkpoint clearance for all travellers. However, security must still be our top priority. We seek travellers’ patience and understanding in this.”
It’s the most wonderful (and congested) time of the year. Happy holidays to all motorists out there!