Monday 13 June 2011

7 Things You Didn't Know About Our MRT

My handsome brother in the Singapore Police Force

Recently my handsome brother completed the Basic Police Training Course as part of his National Service to our country and was posted to the Public Transport Security Command (PTSC) unit of the Singapore Police Force (proud of you bro!).

Showing off his certificate in the MRT

Only about 5-10% of all cases handled by the PTSC are related to terrorism (thank God that they are always on the lookout for potential shady characters!) while the other 90-95% of the cases are mostly civilian affairs like outrage of modesty and complain-y auntie types (you know who I'm talking about).

Anyway, he recently told me some interesting stuff about our Mass Rapid Tranport (MRT) system that I never knew for all the 20 over years I have been taking the trains.

So I have asked my brother to kindly send me the information for me to write up and here you go!

7 Things You Didn't Know About Our MRT

#1: There are a million cameras covering 99.99% of every train station and train in Singapore


So if you think you can scratch your butt, dig your nose or take someone's wallet from their bag and no one will know, you got something else coming! The zillions of cameras that officers (such as my brother) have to monitor can track your every move from the time you enter one station to the time you leave another. The cameras even have the power to zoom in to your face so you can forget about pretending that you're not Shady-character-X-who-just-pickpocketed-at-Station-Y.

If you commit a crime on the MRT (or somewhere else for that matter but flee using the MRT system), you can be sure the police will be there at your destination with handcuffs in their hands ready to take you down. True story!

It does not pay to commit crime. Especially in the MRT. So don't do it!

#2: It is not against the law if someone doesn't give up the Priority Seat

Take for example this scenario: Young man sits in Priority Seat. Pretends to sleep. Old complain-y auntie (OCA) with limp and carrying fat baby glares at him. Said young man continues 'sleeping'. OCA complains to police officer standing nearby. Police officer tells her nicely, "sorry, this is not against the law. I can't do anything."
This scenario happens more often than you think. Seriously, it's better for you to record the whole thing and upload it to Stomp/facebook/twitter than to approach the police. Leave it to societal pressures to do the job.

Credits: dennoir

Perhaps we should also have something like the above spoof created to poke fun at inconsiderate folks.

#3: On the contrary, the following ARE against the law:
  • Bringing prohibited luggage or other items: Fine $500
  • Bringing animals (even hamsters): Fine $500
  • Throwing items into the railway tracks: Fine $1000
  • Non-compliance with instructions: Fine $500
  • Entering or remaining in train when it is full: Fine $500
  • Consumption of food or drinks (including mineral water): Fine $500
  • Spitting, littering or soiling: Fine $5000
  • Causing nuisance: Fine $500
  • Loitering (e.g. when waiting for friends to arrive): Fine $500
  • Interference with doors or operation of doors (i.e. standing holding onto the doors to prevent it from closing): Fine $1000
  • Transferring goods between paid and unpaid areas without going through the gates (e.g. friend A passes a box to friend B over the barrier): Fine $2000
  • Damaging a ticket: Fine $5000
  • Failure to pay or produce a ticket: Fine $1000

#4: During peak hours, take the next train if the first is too full
The next one is usually just 2 minutes away and may even be empty if its coming from the depot in order to cope with the large crowd of commuters. Don't be like one of those Kiasu (Singaporean slang for "scared to lose") uncles who run like crazy to squeeze into a train that is already packed like sardines, only to be slammed by the doors. Besides, it is against the law (see point #3)!

Crowded trains also increase the likelihood that you will meet with a case of outrage of modesty (OM cases as the police likes to call it) or a fight with another angry commuter. For example, there was a case where two men fought with each other in a space of only 5cm between them. Why? Because they were in each other's space -_-

#5: The job of the MRT police officers is NOT to give directions

You cannot imagine the countless number of people asking patrolling officers for directions to so-and-so location. Please don't.

#6: Dressing like a shady character carrying a big black bag will definitely get you stopped by a security personnel

Duh! It would be a miracle if you could walk through the gates without getting stopped. So bring a small bag as far as possible.

#7: Finally, doing the following could possibly save your life if you fell into the MRT tracks by accident
  • Don't panic
  • If there is no incoming train, ask someone to press the emergency stop plunger and quickly walk to the other end of the platform
  • Unless you're some NBA star, don't try climbing up the platform as it is 1.5m high
  • Unless you are Usain Bolt, don't try to outrun the train travelling at 30km/h while running at 5km/h on extremely rocky terrain. You're likely not to make it to the other end in time.
  • Unless your friend is Superman, don't get your friend (or any other person) to pull you up the platform as you will most likely pull him/her into the track with you
  • Unless you are Superman, don't think that lying flat on the track and letting the train roll right over you will do the trick. It would not. You will just get cut into many pieces.
  • Unless you are Magneto (X-men), don't try to run to the railings opposite of the platform as a current of 750V DC (direct current) passes through it. You are also likely to fall through the large gaps between the railings.
  • If there is an incoming train, your best bet is to hide under the tip of the platform (where there is a small space) and wait for rescue
    See the space just under the tip of the platform?
So, until all the platform barriers are erected in all of the stations, it pays to take note of these tips as you never know when you need it =)

If you're like me and don't know this, well, now you do *laughs*
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