Thu, Feb 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Minor accidents add to congestion on major highways

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Bumper-to-bumper traffic packs the Jhonghua Bridge in Taitung City yesterday, the second day of the Lunar New Year, the traditional time for married daughters to return to their parents’ home.

Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Taipei Times

Several minor traffic accidents on the nation’s major highways were reported yesterday, aggravating the already heavy traffic usually seen on the second day of the Lunar New Year, when married daughters traditionally return to their parents’ home.

Three vehicles collided at the 360.5km mark of the northern section of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) at 10:04am, causing traffic to back up for 5km.

Another accident involving two vehicles was reported at the 316.5km mark at 11:05am, which occupied three lanes of the freeway and had an even greater impact on traffic.

At 10:45am, two vehicles collided on the 54km mark of the southern section of the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3), leading to an 11km-long traffic jam.

In the afternoon, an accident involving a small vehicle at the 7.5km mark on the northern section of the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (Freeway No. 5) occurred at 2:55pm, causing traffic to back up for 1.5km.

According to the Freeway Bureau, heavy traffic was seen on the southbound lanes of several major highways as early as 6am yesterday.

Slow traffic flows were reported on the southbound sections between Yangmei (楊梅) in Taoyuan to Hsinchu City, as well as between Nantun (南屯) in Taichung and Changhua, on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway.

Several southern sections of the Formosa Freeway also experienced heavy traffic jams, including the sections between New Taipei City’s Tucheng (土城) and Hsinchu County’s Jhulin (竹林), between Taichung’s Wurih (烏日) and Nantou’s Jhongsing (中興), and between Kaohsiung’s Tianliao (田寮) and Yanchao (燕巢).

Other congested sections included the southern section between Taipei’s Nangang (南港) and Yilan County’s Toucheng (頭城) on the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway, as well as the eastern section between Kaohsiung’s Zuoying (左營) and Yanchao on National Highway No. 10.

Most vehicles were traveling at 20kph to 40kph on the congested sections, the bureau said.

Traffic flow reached 10.7 million vehicle kilometers on average between midnight and 5am yesterday, which was three times the usual volume of 3.6 million vehicle kilometers on a normal day, the bureau said, adding that the volume increased to 47.2 million vehicle kilometers as of 11am yesterday.

Total traffic volume across the nation was expected to reach 136 million vehicle kilometers yesterday, the bureau said.

Due to a sharp increase in the number of people using the bureau’s mobile app — the National Freeway Bureau 1968 — for the latest traffic update, the application experienced a temporary overload yesterday morning.

To avoid being stuck in traffic during the holiday, the bureau urged motorists to use the Formosa Freeway for long-distance travel.

Short-distance travelers should avoid highways or opt for public transportation if they can, it said.

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