Thu, Apr 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Fines for drivers refusing inspections may increase

STOP AND CHECK:A legislative committee approved increasing the maximum fine to NT$30,000, saying the current low penalty of NT$6,000 encourages many to flee

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee yesterday gave its preliminary approval to a proposal to raise the maximum fine for motorists refusing to stop for roadside inspections from NT$6,000 to NT$30,000.

Article 60 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) states that motorists refusing to stop for inspections and fleeing the scene are to be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said.

“This legal loophole has caused many people to reject inspections and flee, as they would be fined no more than NT$6,000 if they get caught,” Lai said. “This has resulted in an average of 10,000 cases per year in which drivers refused to stop for inspections.”

“However, these drivers could cause harm to pedestrians, other drivers and law enforcement officers when they try to escape. The government should set tougher fines for drivers refusing to stop for inspections,” he said.

Aside from increasing the fine, the government should revoke or suspend the licenses of drivers refusing inspections if they cause deaths or injuries to other people while fleeing, he said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) proposed a higher penalty of between NT$90,000 and NT$180,000.

Drivers refusing to take Breathalyzer tests or driving while intoxicated face a maximum fine of NT$90,000, with their cars being detained and drivers’ licenses suspended for one year, while people who refuse to pull over and escape are only fined NT$3,000 to NT$6,000, which is too lenient, he said.

DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) proposed that the government suspend the license plates of people refusing inspections for three months in addition to the fines.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中) said that the ministry generally agrees with the lawmakers’ proposals to toughen up sanctions against drivers rejecting inspections and fleeing the scene.

“However, Article No. 61 of the same act states that motorists refusing to stop for inspections and consequently causing injuries and deaths are to be fined NT$30,000 and NT$60,000. Fines set for motorists refusing to stop inspections should not be higher than those for drivers who cause injuries and deaths as a result of avoiding inspections. We suggest that the fine be set between NT$10,000 and NT$30,000,” Chi said.

He proposed that drivers’ licenses be suspended instead of their license plates.

The committee eventually approved the version of the amendment proposed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, with drivers being fined between NT$10,000 and NT$30,000 if they refuse to stop for inspections and their licenses being suspended for three months.

If a driver breaches Article 60 more than twice within five years, the starting fine would be NT$30,000, and their licenses would be suspended for one year, the ministry’s proposal said.

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