CCTVs reduce illegal parking cases

A CCTV camera near Serangoon MRT station. The LTA found most drivers picked up and dropped off passengers without causing obstruction.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have helped cut down cases of illegal parking by as much as 90 per cent. Motorists and bus operators have noticed improved traffic flow at spots where traffic was previously hampered by illegally parked vehicles.

The first parking enforcement CCTVs were erected last year. Today, there are more than 300 cameras operating at 70 locations across the island.

The Land Transport Authority's (LTA) group director for transportation and road operations, Dr Chin Kian Keong, told The Straits Times: "With the use of these cameras, we observe a better journey experience for motorists and bus commuters... The number of illegal parking offences has reduced significantly, from a daily average of 30 summonses per location when the CCTV cameras were first introduced, to just three currently."

He said the number of complaints the LTA receives on illegally parked vehicles - one of the top grouses it gets from the public - has also come down.

"In terms of pickup and drop-off activities - especially near MRT stations - we also observe better flow of traffic with the CCTVs.

"Most motorists would observe the rules and pick up or drop off passengers without waiting and causing unnecessary obstruction."

At recent checks outside the Bishan and Serangoon MRT stations, Dr Chin said LTA enforcement officers found only one illegally parked vehicle out of 140 that picked up or dropped off passengers.

Motorists have also seen an improvement in traffic flow, but added that more can be done.

Sales manager Brian Ho, 54, said erecting the cameras was "one of the best things they've done". He has seen "tremendous improvement in traffic flow at spots where the cameras are in operation, including Bishan and Upper Serangoon roads. "But there are still many other problematic areas. I hope they will do something about them as well," he added.

Housewife Yeo Chor Nging, 49, said: "It has helped, but not as much as I expected. It seems some drivers are still not bothered." Bus drivers, meanwhile, are also seeing the effects of the cameras.

SBS Transit senior bus captain Goh Swee Seang, 63, said "it's much easier to drive now".

"I drive Service 81 and I sometimes encounter traffic jams on Upper Serangoon Road. My journey there used to be delayed by about two minutes, especially around Serangoon Central. As there are fewer cars parked along the roads now, even if there are delays, it's less than a minute," he said.

Another senior bus captain, 32-year-old Tan Kiat Soon, said: "One of the roads that I pass on Service 132 is Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, where there used to be two to three cars or vans parked just before the bus stops. Since the installation of the cameras, I don't see these cars anymore. This is also the case near the Redhill MRT station."

SMRT bus captain Wong Kam Wah, 53, said: "I hope more CCTVs can be installed by the LTA."

The LTA is doing just that. It announced earlier that cameras will be deployed at 60 more locations over the next two years. Those who park illegally can be fined up to $300 and given up to three demerit points.

This article was first published on September 1, 2015.
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