Mon, Nov 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei mulls rewards for dash cam video footage

VIDEO ON DEMAND:While the Taipei City Government proposed paying up to NT$5,000 for evidence in cases involving death, Kaohsiung said it offered NT$600,000

By Huang Chien-how, Huang Liang-chieh and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The Taipei City Government is considering monetary rewards for drivers whose dashboard camera footage aids the municipality in determining responsibility for accidents or apprehending hit-and-run incidents.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) suggested the measure during a meeting in September, saying that he hoped city residents could help resolve traffic incidents.

Any footage clearly capturing a traffic accident that helps resolve a case might be rewarded with NT$1,000, NT$3,000 or NT$5,000 for minor accidents, major accidents and accidents resulting in deaths respectively, the city government said on Saturday.

However, footage provided by the parties involved in an accident will not be eligible for such rewards, as they are legally obliged to provide all evidence, it added.

The Taipei City Police Department will accept any video, including from cameras mounted on helmets, or even from cellphones mounted on scooters, the city government said.

However, Article 31 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) states that it is illegal to hold a mobile device while driving and the police regard phone stands on scooters as equivalent to using a phone while driving.

The Kaohsiung Police Department’s traffic division said it had already implemented a reward system as early as 2013, offering NT$600,000 for crucial clues to solve cases involving death, NT$200,000 for major accidents and NT$3,000 for minor accidents.

The New Taipei City Government said it had no intention to follow Taipei’s lead on the issue.

New Taipei City Traffic Bureau Secretary-General Wu Kuo-chi (吳國濟) said that video footage is not the only available evidence, as additional information, such as on-site records and recorded statements by the parties, should be considered.

Taichung Traffic Bureau Director Wang Yi-chuan (王義川) said the city would also not be implementing such measures.

However, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said the municipality was still debating the feasibility of introducing a similar policy and had not yet reached a decision.

Tainan Deputy Mayor Lee Meng-yan (李孟諺) said that for the time being, the security cameras across the city are sufficient for Tainan police to obtain footage of accidents.

National Chiao Tung University professor Huang Tai-sheng (黃台生) said he was in principle supportive of the measure proposed by the Taipei City Government.

Encouraging the installation of cameras and recorders, while limiting the footage to traffic accidents, is a good thing and the rights of other residents would not be violated due to the policy’s restrictions, he said.

Additional reporting by Yeh Kuan-yu, Hsieh Wu-hsiung

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