Firm operating congested highway fined by authorities
Turkish authorities have fined a company that operates the Northern Marmara Highway, where hundreds of vehicles were stranded for long hours during the massive snowstorm last week.
A fine of 6.79 million Turkish Liras ($507,000) was given to the company by the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry due to the fact that some parts of the highway, which skirts Istanbul's European suburbs, were closed to traffic.
However, motorway tolls of drivers who had to wait on the road during the snowstorm and suffered victimization have been refunded.
"In order to alleviate the grievances, even if to some extent, of our citizens who were stranded due to the natural disaster, the highway tolls of our passengers who waited patiently during the snowfall have been refunded," a statement released by the firm said.
Istanbul was largely cut off on Jan. 24 as heavy snowfall led to travel chaos.
Pile-ups caused by blizzard conditions led to road closures during rush hour. A 50-vehicle accident on the Northern Marmara Highway led to jams stretching for kilometers.
Rescue crews dug through snow and ice the next day to clear paralyzed roads and rescue people stranded overnight in their cars after a massive cold front and snowstorms.