Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Netizens urge review of modification rules

CUSTOM VEHICLES:Participants in a policy forum asked the government to change the rules on custom vehicles after police failed to determine the origin of an exhaust pipe

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) yesterday said it would continue reviewing the rules governing custom cars with other government agencies, adding that car and motorcycle owners must still follow the Road Traffic Safety Rules (道路交通安全規則) regarding modifications.

The statement came after netizens on the public policy civic participation forum established by the National Developmental Council petitioned the government to set out new regulations on custom cars.

Petitioners cited a case in which a heavy motorcycle rider was fined during a roadside inspection for illegally modifying the bike’s exhaust pipe, the ministry said.

Although the owner said he had not tampered with the pipe, he was given a ticket, as the police could not verify if it was already installed when the owner purchased the vehicle, they said.

The absence of regulations has caused the unrestricted sale of illegal exhaust pipes, which are then purchased by innocent people, the netizens said, adding that the police or civil servants in charge of modified cars should be taught to identify illegal modifications.

The ministry said it would continue reviewing all traffic regulations related to customization with other agencies to see whether any changes are necessary.

Legislation does not ban modifications, but requires that they follow the rules, the ministry added..

“The ministry not only has to protect the safety of drivers and passengers, but also that of other road users and even people not using the road,” the ministry said, adding that following the laws on modifications ensures that owners can drive home safely and gain recognition from others.

The regulations governing modifications are listed in Articles 23 and 23-1 as well as Appendix 15 of the Road Traffic Safety Rules, which stipulate the parts of motor vehicles that must pass annual inspections at MOTC motor vehicles offices, the ministry said.

The rules also ban owners from tampering with steering wheels, transmission systems, brakes, suspension systems and engines, or installing extra lights, it added.

The regulations were drawn up after reviewing similar regulations in Japan, Singapore and other countries, and after considering the traffic in Taiwan, the ministry said.

Minivan owners are allowed to add decorations to the front of their vehicles and to modify the sheet metal on the sides, provided that they pass inspections, it added.

The Directorate-General of Highways on July 6 convened its first meeting to hear opinions on the petition filed through the platform.

Motor vehicle safety is not just the ministry’s responsibility — the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for example, requires that seatbelts, tire rims, booster seats and other items pass inspections or certifications before they can be sold to the public, the MOTC said.

The use of other imported or domestically produced components must also meet regulations on transportation and noise control, it added.

The Environmental Protection Administration is in the process of amending the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法), which is tp require that certified exhaust pipes be branded for quick identification by inspectors, the ministry said.

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