Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Amendments aim to raise crosswalk infraction fines

‘WHITE CANE’ LAWS:The legislation is in line with an international convention on the rights of the visually impaired and overseas laws were used as reference

By Chen Yi-chia and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A visually impaired person crosses a street in Taipei on May 8 last year.

Photo: Huang Chien-hao, Taipei Times

Drivers would face a fine of up to NT$7,200 for not giving way to visually impaired pedestrians when making turns or driving through crosswalks under draft amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).

They would be fined a minimum of NT$2,400 and charged under the Criminal Code if failure to do so leads to the injury or death of a visually impaired pedestrian, according to the draft amendments, which passed a first review by the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee on Monday.

Under current regulations, drivers could be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$3,600 for not giving way to pedestrians at crosswalks or when turning, with no specific penalties for violations involving pedestrians with a visual impairment.

The proposed amendments would see fines for operators of slow-moving vehicles, including bicycles, who fail to give way to visually impaired pedestrians raised from between NT$300 and NT$600, which are applicable in all cases involving pedestrians, to between NT$600 and NT$1,200.

Fines would be increased to between NT$1,200 and NT$2,400 for cases resulting in injuries or death, the draft amendments say.

Lawmakers have also introduced a new penalty of NT$3,000 to NT$6,000 for obstructing traffic by blocking a crosswalk, with the exception of police officers directing traffic or performing inspections and traffic monitors near schools.

That fine would be doubled if such actions result in injuries or death, the draft amendments say.

The draft amendments are in line with the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said Legislator Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋), who proposed the legislation, adding that he used “white cane” laws of the US, Japan and the Netherlands as reference.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications supports the amendments, he said.

The committee also passed a supplementary resolution requesting that the ministry and the National Police Agency strengthen efforts to raise awareness on the right of way of visually impaired pedestrians and other regulations.

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