Power trip causes heavy traffic jam at Tuas Checkpoint
Motorists experienced heavy traffic yesterday at Tuas Checkpoint due to a localised power trip that affected the immigration clearance system for about seven hours.
In a statement to The New Paper, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said: "The immigration clearance system at the arrival and departure car zones of Tuas Checkpoint experienced intermittent slowness due to a localised power trip at about 6.45am."
The automated clearance system and clearance systems at the motorcycle and bus zones were not affected.
The clearance system at the affected lanes progressively resumed at 8am and returned to normal at 1.30pm.
More resources were immediately deployed to manage the situation after the power trip, said the ICA.
Officers who were on night shift duty remained behind to assist in the clearance of travellers.
One of the departure car zones was also converted to clear car arrivals.
The build-up of traffic at the checkpoint was compounded by the fact that the power trip occurred during the peak period for morning travel.
A Malaysian motorist, Mr Andrew Hee, 42, told TNP that he reached the Second Link bridge at around 6.15am and cleared the checkpoint only almost four hours later.
He was ferrying his son, 13, and daughter, 11, to their schools in Jurong West.
The system engineer said: "My daughter in Primary 5 ended up late for her Higher Mother Tongue exam, which may affect her final results."
He believes backup plans should be executed more quickly to avoid jams.
Other motorists had similar stories to tell.
Mr Devon Wong, 40, saw people stuck at the halfway mark of the Second Link bridge getting out and walking to the checkpoint to use the toilet.
He told TNP: "I was frustrated and lost patience after two hours in the car crawling such a short distance. I didn't dare to drink water."
LATE FOR WORK
Mr Wong, who ended up being late for work, added: "My boss was not happy, saying a traffic jam is not an excuse."
At 11am, operations were also temporarily suspended to secure a vehicle that had evaded departure immigration clearance at Malaysia, added ICA.
The authority said: "ICA regrets the inconvenience caused to travellers who have taken a longer time to clear immigration."