Practically unheard of in the past, the number of motorists who have driven against traffic flow and caused accidents has gone beyond alarming.
Photographs of wrecked vehicles involved in an accident have found their way onto social media and widely circulated.
The pileup was caused by a Volkswagen Polo driven by a man against the flow of traffic at around 1.30am at Km124.3 of the North-South Expressway.
According to police, the driver of the Volkswagen was heading north towards Sungei Petani from Butterworth when he made a sudden U-turn at Km116 of PLUS.
“As cars heading north tried to avoid him, a few ended up crashing into each other.
“Seven victims aged 20 to 50 from six different cars, which included a Lamborghini, were sent to the Kepala Batas Hospital for treatment,” Penang traffic chief Supt Roslan Ali said, adding that the victims did not suffer any serious injuries.
Roslan said police have obtained the blood and urine samples of the Volkswagen driver and will ascertain if he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
He said the results of the bloodwork or urine sample would determine what the VW driver would be investigated under.
“For now, the driver may be investigated for driving exceeding the speed limit, reckless and dangerous driving, or driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs,” Roslan said.
In a related incident, an onlooker fell into a monsoon drain while trying to get to the scene of the car accidents.
Nalim Halidan was not even on the PLUS highway but was a passerby who stopped his motorcycle while riding by an estate next to the highway.
He tried to cross a large monsoon drain to get to the highway but fell in and died of head injuries in the freak accident.