Sun, Jan 14, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Traffic amendment gives more freedom to large motorcycles

By Lee Ming-hsien and Tseng Hung-ju  /  STAFF REPORTERS, WITH STAFF WRITER

A revision to the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Law(道路交通管理處罰條例) was passed at the Legislative Yuan on Friday allowing riders of motorcycles with an engine size of 550cc or above to ride their machines on the nation's expressways, provincial highways and regular roads.

However, such bikes will remain prohibited from traveling on national freeways.

The revision requires the government to finish amending all the relevant regulations and promulgate the new policy within six months.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications must also complete an assessment on the possibility of allowing such motorcycles on to the nation's freeways within two years.

Yin Cheng-pong (尹承蓬), director general of the ministry's Department of Railways and Highways, said that the amendment of relevant regulations would focus on three main areas, including rules for operational safety, motorcyclist training and the installment of new traffic signs.

Current traffic regulations require those applying for a 250cc license and above to have owned a 150cc motorcycle license for more than a year and attended 20-hours of lessons.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男), who proposed the amendment, said countries such as Belgium, France and Germany already permit motorcycles to operate on freeways.

"Taiwan's regulations will be in sync with global trends following the amendment," he said.

The National Police Agency said it would respect the legislature's decision.

The agency had previously voiced its opposition to allowing heavy motorcycles on freeways, saying that heavy traffic on the freeways would expose motorcyclists to danger.

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