Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Police proposes extra risk allowance for traffic cops

IN THE WAY OF DANGER:Mortality among highway police was 0.53 percent over the past 10 years, which is much higher than among city police, a lawmaker said

By Tseng Wei-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The National Police Agency (NPA) is mulling the possibility of paying national highway police an additional allowance due to the dangers of their work, after legislators called for action to stem a decline in number and quality of officers willing to be assigned to highway patrol duties.

The mortality rate among highway police officers was 0.53 percent between 1997 and last year, which is significantly higher than the 0.16 percent to 0.3 percent average death rate for officers in the six special municipalities, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said at a news conference yesterday.

Reports of injuries among highway officers have also increased, Lo said, adding that officers volunteering to transfer to the National Highway Police Bureau dropped to 63 last year from 213 in 2013.

To attract more talented people, the NPA should list the bureau as an agency whose employees are eligible for allowances for dangerous duties, Lo said.

Handling accidents on highways is inherently dangerous, and the Ministry of the Interior should “heed the humble requests of beat cops” and approve the NPA’s budget as soon as possible, DPP Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said.

The dangers faced by highway police should entitle them to better wages compared with their inner-city peers, DPP Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said.

Highways see greater traffic volume at very high speeds, Bureau Deputy Director Chang Tsung-yang (張宗揚) said, adding that when accidents occur on the elevated section of Highway No. 1 between New Taipei City’s Wugu District (五股) and Taoyuan’s Yangmei District (楊梅), death is almost certain.

While the job of the highway police is comparatively simple, it is heavier and involves more danger, Chang said.

The agency on March 19 filed a budget proposal with the interior ministry, NPA Department of Human Resources Deputy Director Chang Shu-fang (張淑芳) said.

The proposed budget would see an increase of NT$80 million (US$2.73 million) per annum in funding for the agency and make highway police eligible for an allowance of NT$5,601.

Additional reporting by CNA

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