Wed, Dec 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Bureau using ETC system to track speeding drivers

FAST LANE:Data collected by the electronic toll system can be used to gauge how fast cars are traveling and identify offenders, the National Freeway Bureau said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Apart from collecting tolls from motorists, the electronic toll collection (ETC) system now has another function: assisting police in catching speeding drivers.

By examining data collected by the ETC system’s gantries in September and October, the National Freeway Bureau was able to identify motorists who exceeded the maximum speed limit by 60kph, bureau Deputy Director-General Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said.

Driving at such speeds is considered a serious speeding offense under the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).

The maximum speed limit on freeways is 110kph, Wu said.

“When a car passes through a gantry, the gantry will register the time. Then you look at when the same car passes through the next gantry and you get the time it took for the car to travel between two gantries. Dividing the distance between the gantries by the travel time, you get the average speed at which the car was moving,” Wu said, explaining how the bureau identified speeding drivers.

The bureau then conducted a cross-analysis of a list of 31 top speeding drivers identified by the ETC system and those caught by the National Highway Police Bureau in September and October.

The result showed that 14 of the drivers on the list had been given tickets by the highway police for speeding.

According to the freeway bureau, four of the motorists on the list had been driving at speeds exceeding 240kph, with one of them driving at 247kph.

Looking at the ETC list and the police record, the motorists were driving at an average of 207kph.

The freeway bureau does not have authority to punish these speeding drivers, Wu said, adding that only highway police have the authority to crack down on speeding drivers.

However, the freeway bureau can provide information that can help highway police station personnel in certain sections of freeways and the time period when speeding is most likely to occur, he said.

The ETC data showed that speeding drivers were mostly found in the northbound sections between Dajia (大甲) and Yuanli (苑裡) and between Jhulin (竹林) and Guangsi (關西) on the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3), as well as the overpass connecting Wugu (五股) and Yangmei (楊梅) along the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1).

Speeding was more likely to occur during off-peak and late-night hours, the data showed.

The license plates of the 31 speeding drivers will not be given to the highway police in compliance with the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法), Wu said.

Drivers found to have exceeded the speed limit by 60kph face a maximum fine of NT$24,000 and immediate suspension of their license for three months, the freeway bureau said.

Speeding drivers found to be at fault in a collision will have their licenses revoked, it said.

The fine could rise to NT$30,000 to NT$90,000 if two or more drivers were found to be racing on freeways, it said, adding that their licenses will be revoked immediately.

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