The National Police Administration (NPA, 警政署) began a strict crackdown on traffic violators yesterday.
The crackdown was launched nationwide at midnight yesterday. The NPA said that while there are no new traffic rules, the action is intended as a simple reminder to car and motorcycle riders to drive with care.
According to Taipei Traffic Police Corps (北市交通大隊) statistics, police officers issued more than 2,000 tickets for a variety of infractions at 60 different locations in the city from 9am to 11am yesterday.
Of the 2,000 citations, most were scooter and motorcycle riders who were driving in car-only lanes.
In addition, riders who made left turns along with cars were fined. By law, riders must make left turns by crossing an intersection twice -- a process that requires them to wait through two signal changes.
As for car drivers, most of them were ticketed because they parked vehicles in motorcycle and scooter only zones, in front of traffic signal stop lines or at pedestrian crossings.
Some motorists complained that they never meant to violate the law and had to stop in restricted areas because, they claimed, traffic lights suddenly changed from yellow to red.
In Kaohsiung, police officers issued nearly 30 tickets up to 12pm yesterday. Most of the motorists and riders violated the same rules as those broken in Taipei.
The NPA said that motorcycle and scooter riders were the focus during the crackdown.
According to the Taipei Traffic Police Corps' report, 98 Taipei residents died in traffic accidents last year. Among them, 55 percent involved motorcycles or scooters. Other statistics showed that there were 1.25 million registered motorcycles and scooters in 1991. By last year, the total had doubled to 2.5 million.
"Obviously, motorcycles and scooters are our main focus," said Huang Chia-lu (黃嘉祿), commanding officer of the Taipei Traffic Police Corps. "We keep 120 officers standing by 24 hours a day to go after traffic violators and hope our crackdown will keep our roads safe."
"Our strict crackdown is not a problem for safe drivers and riders, because they don't have to worry about being stopped," said Diao Chien-sheng (刁建生), chief of the NPA's Traffic Section. "So, following the traffic laws and driving carefully is always the best policy."