Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Agency announces fines for older cars in regulated zones

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Owners of older vehicles could be fined up to NT$60,000 if they enter air quality regulation zones, but drivers would first be given warnings, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴) said yesterday.

The agency is encouraging people to replace older vehicles as soon as possible, because subsidies it has been providing for new car purchases are to end in December next year and it is proposing stricter regulations for vehicle emissions.

Since Aug. 16 last year, owners of older diesel cars can receive between NT$30,000 and NT$400,000 in subsidies when purchasing a new vehicle.

The agency has also been subsidizing purchases of lower-emission scooters since 2008 and electric scooters since 2010.

The Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee on Monday gave its initial approval to part of the Executive Yuan’s draft amendments to the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法).

Once the amendments are passed, the agency said it would impose stricter emissions standards for vehicles more than 10 years old, adding that the owners of about 98,000 gasoline-powered cars, 530,000 diesel vehicles and 7 million scooters would be affected by the new standards.

Local governments would be empowered to demarcate air quality regulation zones that older vehicles would be forbidden from entering, Chan said.

Older vehicles have been defined as scooters produced before Dec. 31, 2003, diesel vehicles produced before June 30, 1999, and diesel vehicles produced after that date that lack emissions filters.

Owners would face a fine of between NT$500 and NT$60,000 if they drive their older vehicles into an air quality regulation zone, the agency said.

While some netizens have complained that the agency is bullying the economically disadvantaged by setting the maximum fine at more than the fine imposed by the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), Chan said the maximum fine would only be issued after an owner has ignored several warnings.

The agency has adopted a carrot-and-stick strategy to curb vehicle emissions, which contribute about one-third of the nation’s air pollution, he said.

To alleviate the burden on low-income earners, the agency is in talks with the Financial Supervisory Commission to offer low-interest loans for new cars, with the agency’s air pollution fund serving as a pledge, he added.

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