Taipei taxi drivers fond of discussing politics or listening to political radio talk shows in their taxis had better beware.
Taipei City's Department of Transportation has drafted a taxi self-governance statute declaring such behavior inappropriate and stipulating that as long as customers ask the driver to stop and can prove that they did so, a driver persisting in this behavior can be fined between NT$600 and NT$1,200.
Although Article 38 of the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Law (道路交通管理處罰條例) already includes regulations placing restrictions on the behavior of taxi drivers, it only stipulates fines for refusing to pick up a customer or deliberately taking a longer route.
To deal with the problem, the Department of Transportation has drafted the new statute, which includes fine specifications in the hope that it will improve the quality of taxi services once it is passed by the council.
Yeh Chuen-tzu (葉梓銓), a department section chief, said Taipei residents often complain about a lack of service from taxi drivers and their fondness for discussing politics, which can turn the ride into a nightmare when there is a difference of opinion or when customers don't want to discuss such things, adding that such complaints are the reason for the draft statute.
Drivers would not be prohibited from discussing politics or listening to political radio talk shows, but they should respect the wishes of customers who do not want to discuss such topics or ask the driver to switch stations, he added.
Admitting that it would be difficult for customers to prove that a driver refused to abide by the regulations, Yeh expressed the hope that the statute would influence the behavior of drivers.
Wu Ching-fu (吳慶輔), chairman of Taipei City's Association of Professional Taxi Drivers, said sometimes it is the customer who wants to discuss politics, and that the driver may be perceived as impolite if he or she refuses to respond, adding that most drivers will say as little as possible when opinions differ.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no