Woodlands Checkpoint: ICA, speed up traffic flow!

In the wake of two security breaches at the Woodlands Checkpoint, prompting the by now familiar outburst from TCH, ICA has turned the checkpoint into a fortress of sorts.

A friend who regularly crosses over to JB for golf fumed, “Just one hundred metres takes me more than one hour to clear the checkpoint.”

Some of the security measures put in place by ICA seem like an overreaction.

For example, the immigration officer would leave his booth to call out the names of everyone in a vehicle. Unless your photo in your passport looks drastically different from your facial features, the officer would be none the wiser. So what’s the point? Just a waste of time and holding up the long queue of cars. At best, the officer is seen going through the motion.

At the Customs inspection area, an ICA officer would place a plastic cone in front of your car. After the inspection, he would walk to the front of the car, remove the cone and repeat the whole procedure with the next car. Any suggestion that the plastic cone is a formidable barrier is laughable. In the latest security breach, a driver had no problem gate crashing his way out of the checkpoint so what’s the point of the plastic cone?

It used to be that an officer checked a few cars at a time and this helped to expedite traffic flow out of the checkpoint.

No doubt ICA would say it’s all in the name of security. I can accept that. But these questionable practices cause unnecessary delay and inconvenience to motorists. ICA should seriously review them.

While security is important, ICA should study how it can expedite traffic flow. Having more Customs officers, opening more exit lanes and officers to help direct traffic can be helpful.

The heavy congestion at the checkpoint is making many motorists angry. ICA seems to have no answer to the perennial problem.

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