More than 2 million cars packed the freeways yesterday as the Lunar New Year holiday comes to an end, with heavy congestion reported on only a few sections, the National Freeway Bureau said.
Traffic Management Division section chief Chen Ting-tsai (陳廷才) said total traffic volume on Friday was 2.7 million vehicles, about 1.7 times the average daily traffic volume of about 1.6 million.
“We estimate the total traffic volume [yesterday] was between 2.1 million and 2.3 million vehicles,” Chen said. “Northbound traffic volume was much higher than southbound and peak hours were between 3pm and 6pm.”
Photo: Taipei Times
The bureau said traffic volume between 12am and 7am yesterday was 360,000 vehicles, or 2.4 times the average volume of 150,000 vehicles on weekends, showing that many people took advantage of the toll-free hours to hit the road.
Traffic conditions on the highways were fairly normal before noon and northbound sections that saw congestion in the afternoon were from Siluo (西螺) to Yuanlin (員林) and from the Hsinchu interchange (新竹系統) to Jhubei (竹北) on Freeway No. 1; from Caotun (草屯) to Wufong (霧峰) on Freeway No. 3; from Toucheng (頭城) to Pinglin (坪林) on Freeway No. 5 and the whole Hsuehshan Tunnel (雪山隧道), Chen said.
The bureau reminded drivers to consult the bureau’s online traffic control information and plan ahead before setting out to avoid congestion.
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the