A number of new measures are going into effect this month. Aside from publicly-funded influenza vaccines, which began being administered on Monday, as early as the middle of this month, people operating motor vehicles will be subject to fines of NT$3,000 if they are caught using cellphones or tablet computers while driving and NT$1,000 for using the devices while stopped at traffic lights.
The Department of Health (DOH) began offering publicly-funded influenza vaccines on Monday, primarily targeting infants six months or younger, elementary-school-aged children, elderly people 65 or older, people living in nursing homes, people with verifiably serious illnesses or rare diseases, people working in the medical profession, those working with poultry, or children in the fifth and sixth grades, the last of which was added this year.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) under the DOH says that if there is enough of the vaccine left at the end of the year, it will be offering vaccines to people 50 to 64 years old who have Type 2 diabetes, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease or chronic pulmonary disease.
As for transportation regulations, aside from not being allowed to use cellphones or tablet computers while operating a motor vehicle, the legislature also passed new legislation for driving under the influence, which says if there is a child 12 years of age or younger involved in a car accident due to drunk driving, besides fining the driver NT$15,000 to NT$60,000, their license will also be revoked for two years. If anyone is seriously injured or dies in an alcohol-related accident, the operator’s driver’s license will be terminated for life and they will never be allowed to retake the driver’s license test. The fine for illegally crossing a railroad crossing has also been increased from the current fine of between NT$6,000 and NT$12,000 to between NT$15,000 and NT$60,000, which will go into effect as early as the middle of the month.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)