USFK expects heavy traffic over weekend
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — U.S. Forces Korea was limiting government vehicle use due to dramatically increased traffic expected over the Korean Lunar New Year this weekend, officials said Friday.
Road conditions will remain at “red” status Sunday and Monday, meaning that government vehicles may be used only for emergency military business, USFK officials said Friday.
USFK personnel with military rank of at least O-5 or civilian rating of at least GS-13 may approve exceptions.
Area II officials said the move was an effort to limit traffic accidents during one of the busiest times of the year on South Korea’s roads.
“We expect major traffic delays and congested roadways,” said Area II safety officer Jeff Hyska.
Road conditions will be relaxed slightly to “amber” on Tuesday, meaning government vehicles need approval from at least an O-3 or GS-10.
Many South Koreans use Tuesday to travel back to their homes, Area II officials said.
Personal vehicles are not affected by the road status, though officials are encouraging people to stay off the roads.
Korea Highway Corp. officials said Friday that 84 percent of an estimated 34 million hometown visitors likely will drive their own cars, according to the Korea Times. They also said an average of 300,000 cars per day are expected to leave Seoul during the three-day holiday, with Saturday expected to be the busiest day.
USFK road conditionsGreen: Highway conditions are normal.
Amber: Military vehicles, other then those required for essential business, will not be driven on highways.
Personally owned vehicle drivers need to use extreme caution and are encouraged to observe the rules established for military vehicles.
Red: Military vehicles, other than emergency/essential business, will not be driven. O-5/GS-13 or above may authorize use for business that can not be postponed without jeopardizing military requirements.
Snow chains or similar devices will be used.
Black: All U.S. government vehicles are prohibited from movement.
Commanders ranks O-6 and above must personally authorize the use of emergency vehicles after the appropriate risk assessment and mitigation actions are considered. Snow chains or similar devices are required, no waivers are authorized.
— U.S. Forces Korea