Taipei, April 18 (CNA) Since measures were taken last Monday to crack down on motorists who drive in the Hsuehshan Tunnel at speeds below the minimum speed limit of 70 kilometers per hour under normal traffic conditions, 11 tickets for violating the rule have been issued, the freeway authorities said Tuesday.
Each of the drivers punished for the violation had to pay a fine of between NT$3,000 (US$98.60) and NT$6,000, according to the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.
The bureau also said that since the crackdown began on April 10, traffic flow and the speeds of vehicles using the tunnel, which is a key part of National Freeway No. 5 connecting Taipei and Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan, have increased, a sign of improvement to the notorious traffic congestion on the freeway.
The congestion is common on weekends when people travel from metropolitan areas in the west to Yilan, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan.
Some have blamed slow driving in the tunnel for worsening the problem, prompting an increase in the minimum speed there from 60 kph to 70 kph on March 10, with a one-month grace period so that drivers could adapt to the new rule.
Traffic cameras have been placed every 1.6 kilometers along the 12.9-km tunnel to record violations such as drivers disregarding the speed rules, changing lanes, tailgating or failing to keep a safe distance.
(By Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)