Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 5 News List

MOTC mulls traffic penalty hike

SAFETY MEASURES:The ministry might increase fines for drivers who do not yield to pedestrians based on a recommendation by Taipei’s Department of Transportation

By Wu Liang-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fines for drivers of cars and scooters who fail to yield to pedestrians could soon be increased, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said, adding that the planned implementation date of the hike in penalties is Aug. 1.

The plan is based on a recommendation by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Transportation, and department head Wang Sheng-wei (王聲威) said he made the recommendation because of the many incidents of scooters and cars not yielding to pedestrians.

A 2005 amendment to the Act Governing the Punishment of Violation of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例) stipulated that cars must yield to pedestrians.

Violations carry a fine of NT$1,200 for both cars and scooters.

Wang recommended raising the fines to a minimum of NT$2,000 and a maximum of NT$3,600, and to penalize violators with 3 violation points on their licenses.

Violation points are given to drivers who do not adhere to traffic regulations. The points are awarded in accordance with the severity of the traffic violation.

Drivers who accrue more than six points within the space of a year risk temporarily losing their driving license.

If it is unclear whether a vehicle should have given way to a pedestrian, police would simply warn the driver, the ministry said, adding that police officers on duty would have the equipment necessary to record violations.

The department said there were 9,852 incidents of cars or scooters not yielding to pedestrians last year, with 3,625 committed by drivers of cars, and 6,280 by scooter drivers.

Of the seven deaths caused by vehicles not yielding to pedestrians, six were caused by cars, the department said.

Up to the end of last month, the department recorded 3,742 incidents, it added.

Administrative staff member Chen Shui-yen (陳水炎) said the increased fine made him more aware of the safety of pedestrians.

Civil servant Huan Hung-yen (黃宏諺) said he applauded the effort because not ceding the right of way to pedestrians was the most common cause of traffic accidents and injuries.

Additional reporting by Tseng Hung-ju

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