Dozens of motorcyclists protested in front of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) yesterday, asking the ministry to give them more rights when riding on the roads.
“Should the government fail to take any action, we might invite lawyers who sympathize with the plight of motorcyclists to seek an administrative remedy,” said Bryan Dong (董建一), founder of the Motorcyclists Party.
The protesters accused the government of failing to create a friendly environment for the motorcyclists.
Standing in the rain, they expressed anger and discontent by shouting slogans and honking the horns of their motorcycles.
Dong said the protesters want the government to lift regulations that ban the use of motorcycles on certain roads or requiring motorcyclists to make a two-point turn if they are turning left.
They asked the ministry to change the designation of motorcycles in traffic laws from “motor bicycles” (機器腳踏車) to “two-wheel motor vehicles” (二輪汽車) or “motorcycles” (摩托車).
They also asked the ministry to hold a hearing on the policy to regulate and manage motorcycles.
Dong said there was no evidence showing that allowing motorcyclists to make a direct left turns would increase the percentage of traffic accidents.
The government should divide the traffic based on the operating speed of the vehicles, not on the types of vehicles, he said, adding that motorcycles do not to equate slow vehicles.
It was simply unfair that motorcycles could only be operated in slow traffic lanes, he said.
Ministry specialist Li Fu-shan (林福山) said the ministry has authorized local governments to plan and regulate the use of roads based on the traffic volume and the specific circumstances of the localities.
Research over the years has proven that dividing the traffic based on the type of vehicles effectively prevents traffic accidents, Lin said.