Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 6 News List


Putting the brakes on

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday said that policies requiring safety equipment to be added to scooters and motorcycles, and safety standards to be raised, are well-intended, but overlook whether the requirements would add to the financial burden on riders. She asked that the policies be reviewed.

Acting Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that the implementation date for the policy requiring new scooters and motorcycles to have anti-lock braking systems (ABS) or combined braking systems by 2021 should be reviewed.

Now that this policy, which was formulated by the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), has been delayed as a result of Tsai’s concerns, the government should take the opportunity to review all past measures that have upset people.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that as safety is a universal value, the EU in 2016 made ABS compulsory on new scooters and motorcycles.

Japan implemented similar regulations last year.

On May 15, 2015, the ministry announced amendments to the Vehicle Safety Testing Directions, saying that the regulations for new scooters and motorcycles would be implemented at the beginning of next year.

However, when the ministry announced the policy, the Taipei Motorcycle Industry Association and other associations said at a news conference that ABS is only effective at high speeds and would be ineffectual on scooters and motorcycles with an engine displacement of less than 250cc.

Such a rule would be tantamount to forcing people to spend approximately NT$15,000 more when buying a new scooter or motorcycle, but would only benefit big corporations, the associations said.

They did not rule out mobilizing scooter and motorcycle owners and taking to the streets in protest, the associations said.

The Ma administration ignored the associations and the current government has not reviewed the policy either.

Fortunately, the rules are now being reviewed thanks to Tsai taking an interest, or the government could well have lost even more votes in the 2020 presidential and legislative elections.

Huang Hsiu-li

Changhua County

DPP setbacks

There are a number of reasons for the recent setbacks for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Two of them were major policy blunders. Over the past 18 months, the DPP has allied itself almost entirely with the LGBTQI lobby. It snubbed and belittled those who campaigned for traditional marriage. History has shown just how out of touch the DPP was with public opinion, something it never even bothered to canvas.

Likewise with nuclear power generation. The DPP followed a hysterical green line advocating the shutdown of nuclear facilities. This, too, was contrary to the wishes of the people.

What the party now has to do is convince the voting public that they are a party of real issues and not merely the political expression of radical chic.

Gavan Duffy

Queensland, Australia

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