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SINGAPORE – Commuters taking the bus or train may, under new legislation passed in parliament on Monday, be subject to fresh check by police officers and other “highest authorised individuals” (April 5).

MRT Bus
Image Source :The Straits Times

The “registration hunt” refers to a search carried out by the fast-running hands of one over the outside clothe. Under the Road Traffic (Amendment) Project
The legislation would update the Road Traffic Act and the Fast Transit Systems Act to include more broad-based scanning and monitoring powers for police and approved employees.
Current laws only allow scans of luggage or other commuter objects.

The LTA stated that the improvements would allow security inspection at designated bus exits, before fare doors at MRT, LCR or any aspect of those transportation nodes. The LTA stated that these modifications would allow safety inspections.

Tests on board buses and trains may be carried out if necessary.The public transport system can be an attractive target for security threats due to its vulnerability and the potential for mass casualties, the LTA said.

“There is a need to step up our existing security measures to stay vigilant against any potential security attacks,” it added.According to the new rules, the safety controls include the transmission of a metal detector, the transmission and inspection of objects by an X-ray system and the removal of clothing such as belts, guides, shoes or chains.

Policemen, whether or not they are in uniform and “licensed people,” who include bus and train operator staff, will carry out controls.

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The LTA should permit these permitted people to exercise their control in accordance with the proposed legislation at a given bus, rail, bus or train station, in written form.The authorisations for the execution of fresh searches and use of handheld displays for passengers are limited to the police officers and “senior authorised individuals.”

The staff are uniformed assistant police officers, bus or rail operators’ support officers and outsourced LTA designated compliance officers.

Those that fail to screen the bus, train, interchange or station may be forced to leave.

If a police officer or an individual who has been licensed does not meet or does not cooperate, it will be an offense of up to $1,000 fines without any valid explanation.

At the next parliamentary session, the Bill will be discussed.

Enhanced airport security control-like screening steps started in selected MRT stations last week.Checks were done at random, including screening of the metal detector and X-ray scans.Some stations had been fitted with scanning equipment right before the fare door for up to four transit security officers – privately hired from ST Engineering.

LTA said it took less than 30 seconds for commuters to complete the screening process.

Source: The Straits Times

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