SINGAPORE: Starting Feb 15, all foreign-registered cars will have to pay a reciprocal road charge (RRC) of S$6.40 when they enter Singapore via the Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoints, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Monday (Jan 16).
"The RRC mirrors Malaysia’s road charge of RM20 (S$6.40) per entry for non-Malaysia registered cars entering Johor, which was implemented on Nov 1, 2016," LTA said.
The road charge will be collected together with the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP), toll charges and fixed Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) fees upon departure at the Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoints.
Signs have been put up to remind motorists to pay for the applicable charges by inserting their Autopass card or CashCard into the card readers at the immigration booths, LTA said.
Motorists who evade payment face a S$50 fine for a first offence and S$100 for a subsequent offence. Those who fail to pay the fine may be charged in court and face a fine of up to S$1,000 or a jail term of up to three months, LTA added.
An average of 20,000 Singapore-registered vehicles enter Malaysia daily via the two land checkpoints.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament last Monday that the Government has a “long-standing policy” of matching any levy, tolls or fees charged by Malaysia at the land checkpoints.
“This is to ensure that Malaysia takes into consideration our response whenever they raise their tolls or introduce a new levy,” Mr Khaw said.
Malaysia collected about RM13.9 million (S$4.5 million) in road charges from Singapore vehicles between Nov 1 and Dec 20 last year, he added.
One analyst told Channel NewsAsia that Singapore's policy of matching any levy, tolls or fees charged by Malaysia for using the road links had not resulted in any significant change in traffic flow.
"We have to think about what this S$6.40 means," said Dr Park Byung Joon, a senior lecturer at SIM University.
"If this is going to affect the incoming traffic, which would mean someone probably travelling from Kuala Lumpur drives all the way down to Johor Baru, then parks their car there and jumps onto the Singapore public transportation system ... Is S$6.40 really big enough to change such behaviour? The answer is probably no."
"Both governments have been quite careful about the amount they have charged and the thing is, if they start charging a lot of money, that could affect their own economy," he added.