Sat, Sep 29, 2012 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Reckless bus drivers

A recent report in the Taipei Times said that a bus crash in Hualien Country was probably caused by the driver’s inability to see in heavy rain (“Chinese tourists injured in bus crash,” Sept. 25, page 1).

While I do not disagree that the driver could not see, I think there are other factors — speed and recklessness — that probably contributed to the crash as well.

I read about bus crashes in the Taipei Times on a regular basis and wonder why more hasn’t been done to prevent them.

Some car rental companies in Canada install small boxes under the hood that monitor speed, direction, etc. via GPS. Why cannot boxes like this be installed in Taiwan’s buses and then have both the bus company and driver held responsible in the event of inappropriate or unsafe driving?

I remember a few years ago after a bad bus accident, some bus companies installed an alarm that would sound when the bus exceeded a certain speed, but I think that was soon scrapped as I do not hear it anymore on the odd time I use bus services.

I do know though that every time I’m driving my car on the highway, I am passed by numerous buses that are driving in excess of 130kph. That right there tells me that many bus drivers in Taiwan are not afraid to drive too fast and too carelessly.

Stephen Bateson

Greater Taichung

Focus on pollution

Over the past few months, I have repeatedly contacted the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to report pollution in our area in Sijhih (汐止), New Taipei City (新北市), around lakes and along walking routes.

Along the lakes you can often find fishermen not taking responsibility for their garbage. Farmers in this area often use plastics and junk for farming, which end up in waterways. The general public frequenting the lakes are also culprits. I have suggested placing trash cans in strategic places and putting up signboards to get the people thinking about their environment. No progress has been made.

Geese live near one end of the lake, but one also sees so much garbage drifting toward that end, which is unacceptable.

Each time I report cases of pollution via e-mail, I offer proof by means of pictures. I will forward these pictures to the newspaper upon request.

After some time, I have offered to do the clean-up myself with the help of volunteers, but I will need support from the EPA in the form of tools, bags, boots, washing soap, trucks, etc.

I have also asked the management at our local community — Lotus Hill Community — to clean up the garbage dumps in adjacent parking areas, but have never received a reply.

I am writing to ask if the Taipei Times would be willing to write an article encouraging people to start looking around them and cleaning up their living spaces, which include public places like lakes and walkways.

Even better, a crew could be sent to film or document the damage being done and the efforts to rectify the situation.

The Taipei Times has greater access to government officials and could thus get reaction and exercise more pressure to get things moving in the right direction.

Name withheld

New Taipei City

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