Thu, Feb 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Fines for accidental use of ETC-only lanes remain

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that the government's policy on the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system will remain unchanged.

"Motorists' legal rights must be protected and our policy on the ETC system must remain. This is our bottom line on the issue," Government Information Office Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told a press conference yesterday.

Cheng added that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) is compiling a detailed report on data collected on the ETC system since its launch on Feb. 10.

Su proposed issuing citations for motorists who accidentally drive into an ETC-only lane without the necessary onboard unit, rather than fining them.

Those caught speeding or driving in ETC lanes without an onboard unit installed in their vehicles can be fined from NT$3,000 (US$93) to NT$6,000.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) said that the MOTC is working on an analysis of motorists' behavior to help officials determine what percentage of motorists accidentally drive into the ETC-only lanes.

"Our analysis will be completed within a week and we will come up with new solutions then. However, until then, current punishment will remain," Kuo said.

MOTC officials said that not enough has been done to promote and prepare for the new system, which they said may be the main reason behind the confusion and complaints from the public.

Su has meanwhile also asked the ministry to review its contract with Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (遠通電收).

Asked if this means a new contractor could be appointed, Cheng said that this was not an option.

"To `review' the contract is different from `amending' it or `replacing' it with a new one," Cheng said. "We just want to make sure that this contract is well organized."

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