Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Only some drivers charged over eight-hour illegal race

LIMITS TO JUSTICE:There are clear indications that the cars drove faster than 320kph, but the nation’s highway cameras cannot measure such speeds, prosecutors said

By Yang Cheng-chun and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Prosecutors have brought charges against a group of three drivers who drove at excessive speeds around Taiwan Island in March, while another 10 drivers have had their prosecution deferred and are required to donate funds.

Investigators said that at 9pm on March 4 a man surnamed Hsu (許) invited 19 other drivers of modified imported cars to join him in driving from New Taipei City down the east coast to Taitung along the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway (Freeway No. 5) and Freeway No. 11, and then back north along the west coast’s Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3).

The group, who met at a rest area in New Taipei City’s Shihding (石碇), made the round trip in eight hours, driving at an average speed of about 180kph on roads with speed limits of between 50kph and 60kph and reaching a top measured speed of 241kph, prosecutors said, adding that the drivers parted ways at about 6am on March 5 after arriving back in New Taipei City.

They said that video evidence posted online by one of the drivers showed a top speed of 320kph, but the cameras used on the freeways are incapable of recording speeds that high, adding that the driver in the video was even passed on one side by another group member’s car.

The Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office charged three of the drivers, surnamed Tien (田), Chen (陳) and Wu (吳), with offenses against public safety.

The group racked up 31 traffic violations over the course of the eight-hour drive, prosecutors said, adding that the speed of 241kph was measured as the group passed through Taichung’s Wurih Township (烏日).

Tien, Chen and Wu pleaded guilty and requested lenient sentences.

All three have records of prior offenses, investigators said.

The other 10 drivers were given deferred prosecutions for one year and ordered to pay between NT$30,000 and NT$50,000 in donations.

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