Electric bicycle riders will soon have to secure a license and wear a helmet before they can hit the road, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
Department of Railways and Highways Deputy Director-General Wang Mu-han (王穆衡) said that electric bicycles can travel as fast as lightweight scooters and people have difficulty telling them apart.
There have also been complaints that electric bicycles are a threat to pedestrians or regular bicycle riders if people ride them on sidewalks, he said.
With government data showing that there are 180,000 electric bicycles in the nation, the ministry decided to toughen up regulations as the number of accidents and violations involving such bikes increase, he added.
National Police Agency statistics showed that the number of people injured by electric bicycles rose from 369 in 2011 to 1,495 last year.
The number of deaths also rose from zero in 2011 to four in 2014 and last year, data showed.
Based on the ministry’s proposed amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), electric bicycles would be legally defined as a type of lightweight scooter, and written and riding tests to secure a license to operate the vehicle would be required.
Electric bicycle riders would also need to wear a helmet and would not be allowed to ride on sidewalks.
Manufacturers of electric bicycles must ensure that the vehicle has a mechanism that prevents bicycle retailers or riders from ratcheting up the bicycles’ maximum speed, the ministry said.
While the maximum speed for electric bicycles is set at 25kph, some retailers tweak the machines to raise their speed to 40kph, the ministry said.
To distinguish electric bicycles from lightweight motorcycles, they will have to carry a new certification label in the back that is 25 times larger than the one currently used, the proposal said.
Electric motorcycles sold after July 1 must carry the new certification label.
Owners of electric bicycles that do not have the new certification label may be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$3,600.
In other developments, the National Freeway Bureau said that large passenger vehicles can soon operate on the shoulder road of the northbound lanes of Freeway No. 5 during peak traffic hours all the way from the Yilan Interchange to the large bus checkpoint in Toucheng (頭城).
At present, large buses are allowed to operate on the shoulder road between Yilan and Toucheng Interchanges. The new measure, which is to take effect on Saturday, would extend the stretch further from the Toucheng Interchange to the large bus checkpoint in Toucheng.
Bureau statistics showed that the current measure has reduced the travel time for large buses during peak hours on weekends and holidays by 20 to 30 minutes.
The new measure would further decrease travel time by five to 10 minutes, the bureau said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General