Large-size motorcycles are still banned from use on national freeways, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.
Large motorcycles are those with an engine displacement volume of 550 cubic centimeters (CC) or more.
Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯), director of the Department of Railways and Highways, said that the Act Governing Punishments for Violations of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例) has been amended to conditionally allow drivers of large motorcycles access to national freeways.
However, the ministry is also authorized by the act to announce which freeway sections are open for the vehicles and when the policy is to take effect.
“We have invited officials from Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung, Nantou County and Pintung County as well as the National Police Agency to discuss relevant issues,” Chen said. “They have expressed their doubts and have officially notified the MOTC that they oppose the policy.”
Aside from the behavior of those who ride large motorcycles, local government officials also said that some freeway sections in certain areas serve as important passageways for local commuters. Before the amendment was passed in October last year, the ministry had conducted an opinion poll on the policy.
While 42 percent of the surveyed population supported the policy, 52 percent said they opposed it.
Statistics from the ministry showed that the nation has about 4,000 motorcycles with an engine displacement volume of between 250cc and 550cc and about 28,000 motorcycles of 550cc or more. Both were permitted to go on expressways after the amendment to the act was passed.
Chen said that the National Freeway Bureau would take another opinion poll on this policy and discuss the matter with local government officials, adding that the ministry would reconsider the policy if it secures support of more than 50 percent of the public as well as support from local governments.
“We suggested that large-size motorcycle riders help to dismiss the doubts of other freeway users by exercising self-discipline and following traffic regulations, which will help them win local government approval,” Chen said.