Thu, Jan 07, 2016 - Page 4 News List

DGH orders truck driver retraining

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

More than 9,000 trailer truck drivers have been asked to retake training at motor vehicle offices nationwide after repeated breaches of traffic rules in the past three years, the Directorate-General of Highways (DGH) said yesterday.

The nation’s highway authority said that a total of 9,300 trailer truck drivers have been notified that they need to undergo four hours of remedial training before June this year. Drivers who fail to attend the training without a legitimate reason are to be fined NT$1,800, while companies employing those drivers are to be fined between NT$9,000 and NT$90,000.

Statistics from the agency showed that the number of drivers asked to take the training accounts for about 8 percent of qualified trailer truck drivers in the nation. Among them, 3,303 frequently drive above the speed limit on freeways, and 3,242 have often been fined for running or executing right turns at red lights.

Meanwhile, 2,611 drivers have committed violations ranging from speeding or driving below the minimum speed limit when on regular roads, or failing to follow traffic rules when driving over railway crossings to driving with tires with insufficient tread depth. The remaining 144 violated traffic rules and caused traffic accidents, it said.

The agency said that the drivers would need re-education in several areas. Apart from traffic regulations, the training is to include defensive driving skills, prevention and handling of traffic accidents, common violations committed by trailer truck drivers and knowledge of different equipment and their functions in the vehicles.

The agency also said that it hoped that professional truck drivers would become familiar with new traffic regulations through the training, adding that they would learn various skills they need to drive safely, as well as good driving etiquette.

Some drivers said they were furious about the announcement.

Truck driver Lin Yi-de (林益得) said that the government should not blame large truck drivers for the occurrence of accidents on freeways.

“Why doesn’t the government re-educate drivers who back up their cars on freeways? Or those who cross double yellow lines to overtake other cars, those who drive slower than 80kph in central lanes, or drivers who abruptly cut into traffic in outer lanes to exit freeways?” Lin asked.

“This government has never sided with hard-working truck drivers and always blames us for causing the traffic accidents. Are those reckless drivers not to blame as well?” he added.

However, many netizens supported the agency’s decision, saying that some drivers need to enhance their skills in several areas, including using rearview mirrors and onboard cameras to avoid hitting vehicles in their blind spots.

Some netizens said that truck companies should be required to have mechanisms to verify that the cargo transported by their trucks is securely fastened.

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