Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Traffic police will go by the book on cameras: official

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Police Agency yesterday said that police officers who take pictures of traffic violators from unauthorized locations will be disciplined.

The new regulation, which became effective on July 1, allows police officers to take pictures of traffic violators from any point within the "road area," including bridges, pedestrian overpasses and road shoulders. Alleged traffic violators can appeal if they believe that the pictures of them were taken improperly.

If the appeal is won, then the police officer taking the picture may be disciplined.

"To be honest, there is no such thing as `taking pictures from a hidden location' because we ask our officers to wear uniforms all the time and be in a standing position when they are carrying out their duties on the streets," said Ho Kuo-jung (何國榮), the chief of the agency's Traffic Section. "We also ask our officers to stand within the road area so that everything is legal and carried out in public view.

"If you do not violate traffic rules, then you will not have to worry about any tickets, punishment or anything else," Ho said.

In related news, the agency has issued the results of a crackdown against traffic violators on the first day of the implementation of stricter traffic rules.

According to the figures, 10,951 motorists, motorcyclists and scooter drivers were pulled over for violating traffic laws. Of these, 4,984 motorcyclists and scooter drivers were fined because they did not follow the "two-stage left turn" rule.

For motorcyclists and scooter drivers to complete a left turn, they must cross an intersection twice -- a process that requires them to wait for two signal changes.

Another 2,900 motorists were photographed by police officers and received tickets along with their pictures.

The tickets netted more than NT$8 million.

The agency said that most motorists were ticketed because they parked vehicles in motorcycle or scooter-only zones, in front of traffic-signal stop lines or pedestrian crossings, or made illegal U-turns or changed lanes across parallel white lines.

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