The Taipei City Police Traffic Division yesterday promised to finalize the replacement of old speed detectors by 2015 to reduce the number of traffic accidents after a city bus driver was found running a red light without being recorded due to the poorly functioning old speed detectors.
In a video clip shown by Taiwan Solidarity Union Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) in a press conference, a 304 bus driving on Chungching N Road on March 15 whipped across lanes and ran a red light.
A driver filmed the situation and reported the incident to the division. However, the division did not find any records in its speed detector installed at the intersection.
Chen said the old speed detectors required S-shaped reaction sensors underneath the roads, and such sensors were not usually installed in slow lanes, resulting in a loophole whereby many drivers would cross lanes at intersections in violation of traffic regulations to avoid being captured by the speed detectors.
“The bus driver’s situation is not a unique case. We’ve seen many drivers take advantage of the problems with old speed detectors and violate traffic regulations. The city government is responsible for the increasing number of traffic accidents as a consequence,” he said.
Statistics from the city government showed that there were 340 recorded traffic violations by bus drivers last year, and the number of traffic accidents caused by city buses and trucks was more than 1,900.
There were 170 accidents caused by city buses from January to March last year alone.
Division chief Dang Yi-fan (黨一凡) acknowledged that speed detectors around the city functioned poorly, and said the city government has listed an annual budget to replace the detectors with digital ones.
The division has overhauled 43 speed detectors, and will replace 10 more by the end of this year. The division will complete the replacement of all old speed detectors by 2015, he said.
Before all the old speed detectors are replaced, the division will dispatch more traffic police and strengthen efforts at problematic intersections, he said.