Selfie-takers fined for stopping on world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge in Turkey
KOCAELİA 92-Turkish-Lira fine has been imposed on drivers who stop to take selfies on Turkey’s Osman Gazi Bridge, which was opened to traffic on June 30 following over half-a-decade of construction and is the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world.
People traveling for the Eid al-Fitr holiday used the bridge over the Marmara Sea to drastically cut travel time between Istanbul and the country’s western provinces, but a traffic jam was caused by a number of drivers who stopped to take selfies on the right side of the bridge.
“This is a highway. It’s forbidden to stop and park here. Transportation is hindered when people curious to see the bridge stop along the way. A fine of 92 Turkish Liras is imposed on drivers who ignore the warnings,” said officials responsible for traffic on the bridge.
A number of drivers used the newly-opened bridge, which was free of charge to use during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, to travel towards the northwestern province of Yalova and then return towards the Marmara province of Kocaeli. A number of them stopped to take selfies, as the officials warned them to continue on their way.
Fines were imposed for parking or stopping for reasons outside of necessity and without taking proper precautions on a highway for those who ignored the warnings. Many drivers were seen filming or taking pictures while driving.
The bridge, a 2,682-meter-long structure, is the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world and the second longest in Europe. The $1.3-billion bridge was named after Osman Gazi, the founder and first sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
It was formally inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on June 30.
The bridge crosses between two points on the southern shore of the Marmara Sea along the route of the new six-lane Istanbul-İzmir Highway Project, which will cost around $6.3 billion in total.
The existing route between Gebze, a district in Kocaeli bordering Istanbul, and the western province of İzmir is 540 kilometers long and currently takes eight to 10 hours to travel. The new motorway is expected to reduce the average journey time between the two cities to three to four hours, while relieving the traffic load on the existing route by more than 30 percent. The 421-km road project involves 30 viaducts.
The new bridge and highway will also mean that the drive-time between Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport, the country’s second busiest airport, and the northwestern industrial province of Bursa will be less than an hour.