Malaysia-bound traffic set to build up from today

The massive traffic jam at the Causeway during the evening peak period last Friday. ICA said some of the reasons for the jam include the use of wrong, invalid travel documents, inconsiderate motorists and tighter security in the face of terrorist thr
The massive traffic jam at the Causeway during the evening peak period last Friday. ICA said some of the reasons for the jam include the use of wrong, invalid travel documents, inconsiderate motorists and tighter security in the face of terrorist threats.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Commuters planning a trip to Malaysia over the festive period are being urged to adjust travel plans if possible to avoid an expected surge.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a release yesterday that traffic volume at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints is expected to build up from today till next Sunday due to the Christmas and New Year periods.

The authority also reminded travellers to ensure they take the correct documents for immigration clearance to avoid further delays.

Between January and October, 622 Singaporeans were found using wrong or invalid passports at the two checkpoints. These included using passports that were reported as lost or stolen - an offence punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, a 10-year prison term or both.

On Monday, the ICA told the media that the use of wrong, invalid or missing travel documents, inconsiderate motorists and tighter security measures in the face of terrorist threats were some of the reasons for recent jams.

Last Thursday, traffic during the morning peak period was so bad that hundreds of commuters from Malaysia, including those who got out from the buses stuck in the jam, tried to cross on foot.

Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said after a visit to the Woodlands checkpoint last Saturday that manpower has been increased for the holiday season and all or most counters are open.

Singaporeans, permanent residents and Long Term Pass holders are also encouraged to use the enhanced Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS) lanes at the bus halls for immigration clearance, ICA advised yesterday.

Other tips include car-pooling where possible, checking on the traffic situation beforehand and maintaining lane discipline.

For more information, motorists can call the traffic information hotline on 6863-0117, or visit the Land Transport Authority's One Motoring website at www.onemotoring.com.sg or MyTransport.SG portal for the latest traffic conditions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Malaysia-bound traffic set to build up from today'. Print Edition | Subscribe