Starting on July 17, passengers boarding US-bound flights are to be subject to random inspection for electronic devices in carry-on luggage, following the issuance of an emergency amendment by the Transportation Security Administration yesterday.
The measure was introduced in response to the increasing threat of terrorist attacks, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said, adding that electronic devices that would be closely scrutinized are to include tablet computers, laptops, electronic books, DVD players, digital cameras and video game consoles.
Enhanced inspections do not mean that people would be banned from carrying electronics on board when travelling to the US, the CAA said.
The measure simply means that people must prepare to have their devices screened and passengers can still bring electronics on board if they pass inspection, the agency said.
However, the additional inspection could be a time-consuming process, as inspecting just one device could take longer than three minutes, the agency said.
Passengers would be randomly selected to undergo a second security check at the boarding gates, when they would be asked to take out all electronic devices they plan to carry on board for inspection, CAA Air Transport Division Director Han Chen-hua (韓振華) said.
The Aviation Police Bureau has been equipped to examine electronics, Han said, adding that security officers could detect if devices contain explosive material.
As enhanced screening could delay flights, passengers are advised to put electronics in checked luggage if possible.
In other developments, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it would stop paying medical bills or compensation for people who attempt to commit suicide by jumping onto or lying on railway tracks, following an amendment to the Railway Act (鐵路法) rules of enforcement.
Current rules stipulate that the agency may compensate families of victims killed or injured in railway accidents, even though the accidents were caused by illegal trespassing or suicide attempts rather than the agency’s errors.
The rules also say that, if victims are TRA passengers, the families of the deceased could receive up to NT$100,000 in compensation, while the agency would cover the injured passengers’ medical bills.
No compensation would be granted if the injured are not TRA passengers, but the agency could still offer a bona-fide compensation of no more than NT$50,000 to the victim’s family, depending on the actual situations.
The agency would not be allowed to offer any compensation to people who attempt suicide or their families once the amendment takes effect, the TRA said.
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