Sunday, December 30, 2007

No Unpaid Tickets Here

I have to say that in several ways, Singapore has a leg up on the U.S. in terms of efficiency. This is most obvious when it comes to transportation. The public transport system here is spectacular, which is good because it's a tiny island with 4 million people and you can't have all of them running around in cars.

I've mentioned a few of their nifty systems before. This week I landed on the wrong end of one of them, but I'm still impressed by it. I got a ticket for "non-payment of ERP charge." Specifically, the letter sitting next to me says, "We would like to bring to your attention that on 18 December 2007 at 5:46 PM, you vehicle SFU2512U was detected passing through the ERP gantry at CTE Northbound before exit to PIE without a CashCard properly inserted into the In-vehicle Unit."

What that means is that I didn't pay a road toll. Our cars here have a box on the dash where you put a credit card that has money on it. As you drive into high traffic areas, there is a Electronic Road Pricing overhang that automatically deducts money from you. That is, if your card is in there. Mine was low on cash, so I had pulled it out because otherwise it beeps annoyingly. Plus, I was going north AWAY from the city, so I was surprised to come upon an ERP at all.

I've done this once before. It's a horrible feeling driving under that thing without a card. You hope that somehow they didn't see you, but within days you get a ticket in the mail, and you just can't argue with it. They KNOW it was you. If I don't pay the $10.50 within 14 days, my fine will increase to $70. If I pay it online it will decrease to $8.50. What a bargain! I don't imagine there is any issue with unpaid tickets here in Singapore.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Thanks Gina! Actually I have heard it's legal...a native Singaporean filled me in. I wrote that when I first arrived here. If you need any gum, we have lots...ha!
any other recommendations of what to do in SIng? and how did you go about meeting friends?

thanks for the help!