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Published: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 7:36:30 AM

Increased security and hols worsen crawl at checkpoints

Massive congestion: Motorists stuck in a jam along the causeway as a result of heavy traffic at the start of the school holidays and stringent inspections at the checkpoint. - LIM CHENG KIAT / The Star.

Massive congestion: Motorists stuck in a jam along the causeway as a result of heavy traffic at the start of the school holidays and stringent inspections at the checkpoint. - LIM CHENG KIAT / The Star.

JOHOR BARU: The start of the school holidays coupled with stringent inspection fo­ll­ow­­ing recent security breaches at the border checkpoint here has led to major traffic congestion at both the Causeway and Second Link.

The traffic backlog is a constant problem, especially for thousands who travel daily from Johor Baru to Singapore for work and studies.

IT engineer Nicholas Vincent, 28, said travelling to work had become a nightmare as it took him over two hours to get to his office in Singapore.

“It never used to be this bad as it usually takes about one-and-half hours but now, I’m stuck in a crawl almost every day,” he said in an interview here yesterday.

Nicholas believed that the traffic jams had worsened following two incidents of security breaches – when a Malaysian teacher drove through checkpoints of both countries without validating her passport on Jan 17, and another case involving a man on March 8.

“It’s frustrating to be stuck in jams during peak hours. The authorities from both countries should come up with a solution,” he said.

Accounts executive Suerina Juilina Abd Aziz, 31, said traffic at the checkpoint in the early morning used to be smooth.

“But this has changed in the last two weeks. I find that the vehicles hardly move,” she said, suggesting that existing lanes be widened and traffic officials man the checkpoints to help ease congestion.

Administrative executive, Kamini Devi, 27, claimed that the jams were causing many drivers to suffer mental stress.

“I now have to have my breakfast in the car while driving to work,” she said.

Johor Immigration Department director Rohaizi Bahari said the extra traffic was due to the start of the school holidays in both Malaysia and Singapore, and increased security.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and working with our Singaporean counterparts on the matter. On our part, we are ensuring that all our counters are open during peak hours while officials are on standby to direct traffic,” he said.

Tags / Keywords: Family & Community, traffic, singapore, congestion

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