Fee for illegal crossings on first, second bridges increases five-fold
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyThe General Directorate of Highways has announced they will increase the fines assessed to heavy vehicles crossing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge on Istanbul’s Bosporus from 92 to 500 Turkish Liras.
The crossings currently cost less than what the drivers are supposed to pay if they take the newly opened third bridge.
The directorate announced they are preparing to increase the penalty for heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses to up to 500 liras to prevent their illegal crossings over the FSM bridge and the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge. With the opening of the third bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim, these vehicles were directed to take this route while their crossings over the first and the second bridges were prohibited.
Despite the bans and penalties imposed on those violating the bans, drivers of heavy vehicles continued to take the bridges’ routes as the third bridge’s crossing fee was more costly than the illegal crossing penalty for the other two bridges. By paying a ticket of 92 liras in addition to the regular crossing fee, drivers were able to cross over the first and second bridges for a total cost of 162 liras. However, the third bridge’s standard crossing fee is a maximum of 164 liras.
Opened on Aug. 26, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is the third bridge on Istanbul’s Bosporus. With its relatively higher crossing tolls, however, it has faced discontent among many drivers.
On Sept. 5, construction truck drivers held a protest on the bridge, arguing that they were asked to pay different fares at different times and demanded a discount on the bridge’s crossing fares.
The group of truck drivers stopped their vehicles approximately 50 meters behind the toll booths on the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and demanded lower fares.
Due to the demonstration that lasted approximately half an hour, the traffic was jammed until teams arrived at the scene to negotiate with the protestors and convince them to end their protest.