THREE accidents on the Penang Bridge and one on the North-South Expressway (NSE) before the turnoff to the bridge caused massive traffic jams that resulted in many people arriving late for work.
A motorcyclist, in his 50s, was killed in the first accident at 6.30am yesterday involving his motorcycle and a trailer at KM5.1 on the island-bound stretch of the bridge.
A Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd spokesperson said a four-vehicle pileup occurred at KM4.8 of the island-bound stretch some 30 minutes later.
She said another four vehicle pile- up was reported at about the same time at 7am on KM138.2 of the NSE before the turnoff to the bridge.
“This was followed by a seven-car pileup on the mainland-bound stretch at KM6.2 at 8.06am,” she said.
Many motorists travelling between the mainland and island were late for work and other appointments.
Several impatient ones were spotted weaving in and out of queues as tempers flared with motorists honking away.
There were bumper-to-bumper crawls along the roads leading to the bridge on both the island and mainland, as well as some roads leading to the NSE. The traffic jams lasted for about five hours in some places.
The ferry terminal in Butterworth was also choked with traffic as motorists opted to take the ferry to avoid the jams heading towards the bridge. The queue backed up to the traffic lights junction near SM Convent Butterworth.
There were similar congestions on Jalan Chain Ferry, Jalan New Ferry, Jalan Permatang Pauh, Jalan Baru and Jalan Perusahaan on the mainland.
A motorist, who wanted to be known only as Siti, said she was late for work by about two hours as she was caught in the jam from her house in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, to her workplace on Jalan Perusahaan.
V. Dinesh, who was travelling in a bus to the Seberang Jaya Hospital from Jalan Chain Ferry, said he was stuck on the bus for nearly two hours resulting him in being late for his medical check-up.