Wed, Apr 14, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Hau vows to ensure safety of pedestrians

RIGHT OF PASSAGEFollowing an incident involving a former ambassador, more police have been deployed at major intersections to make sure that drivers yield to pedestrians

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said he would step up efforts to clamp down on drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians after a retired diplomat was hit by a taxi on the street last week and broke his arm.

“Taipei is a friendly city and we should show respect to pedestrians. We must address the issue and enforce measures to ensure that cars yield to pedestrians,” Hau said after presiding over a municipal meeting at Taipei City Hall.

Former ambassador to Guatemala Lu Yi-cheng (陸以正) was hit by a taxi on Friday last week when crossing in a pedestrian zone. He lambasted the taxi driver for ignoring the rights of pedestrians and urged the government to take the matter seriously.

Hau said the Taipei City Police Department’s Traffic Division and the city’s Department of ­Transportation would strengthen measures to improve the safety of pedestrians and clamp down on drivers who fail to yield to them.

According to regulations, drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians can be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$3,600.

The city government increased the number of traffic police to promote road safety ahead of the Deaflympics in September last year, but the efforts did not continue after the event concluded.

Director of the city’s traffic division Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧) said pedestrians have right of way and motorists would be fined for failing to yield — even when pedestrians violate traffic rules. The division will dispatch more police at major intersections to give tickets to drivers who violate the regulations.

Fang urged drivers to yield to pedestrians, while calling on pedestrians to stop at red lights.

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