Taipei, (CNA) While there are still two days to go for the Lunar New Year holiday, many people decided to return early from their family reunions, which caused traffic jams Sunday afternoon, according to the Freeway Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).
At around 1 p.m., the southbound section from Hukuo to Hsinchu and the northbound section from Daya to Taichung on Freeway No. 1 saw heavy traffic, with vehicles traveling at only 30 kilometers per hour, the bureau said.
In addition, traffic jams also hit Freeway No. 5 as cars moving in both directions into the Hsuehshan Tunnel ran at just 25-30 kph, according to data released by the bureau. The bureau said traffic fines will not be imposed on vehicles traveling below the mandated speed limit.
The bureau said drivers started flocking onto the roads in the early morning of Sunday. Moreover, a three-car accident in Taichung on Freeway No. 1 made traffic conditions even worse, the bureau added.
To ease traffic congestion, the bureau said it imposed traffic management measures on northbound freeways from 3 p.m. through 8 p.m. Sunday, including traffic controls at the Su’ao and Toucheng ramps on Freeway No. 5.
The bureau said to obtain up-to-the-minute traffic information about the Suao-Toucheng section, drivers are encouraged to use the bureau’s app, while drivers were urged to use alternative routes to avoid traffic jams on Freeway No. 5.
Since Chiayi is scheduled to hold the Taiwan Lantern Festival starting March 2 and running through March 11, the event is expected to attract many visitors, the MOTC’s Highway Bureau said.
The bureau said visitors are urged to use public transportation in a bid to ease traffic congestion.
The bureau added that two public transportation services provided by the Tourism Bureau will offer a 50 percent discount to take visitors to various sections of the venue.
(By Chen Chih-chung and Frances Huang)