Traffic police ‘robbing motorists’: lawmaker

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Oct 07, 2013 - Page 3

People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) on Saturday blasted traffic authorities for improperly placed and hidden speed detectors, which she said “rob motorists of their money.”

At a press conference at the legislature, Chen said speed-monitoring equipment should be a preventative measure that reminds motorists not to speed, not an attempt for the authorities to profit from them.

She singled out a detector at a 10km-stretch of road where the maximum speed drops from 120kph to just 100kph, causing motorists who do not react in time to fall prey to fines.

That one detector, which is hidden behind a road sign between Tuchen (土城) and Jhonghe (中和) on the northbound lanes of the No. 3 Freeway, brought in about NT$60 million (US$2 million) last year from 19,909 vehicles, she said.

Outside of freeways, the most “profitable” traffic detector is installed near Taipei’s Bailing High School on Chengde Road Sec. 4. That device alone managed to net NT$38.7 million from 32,253 motorists last year, she said.

Regulations stipulate that speed detectors must be set atop a yellow-and-black-striped pole, with a warning sign to alert motorists 100m to 300m in advance, National Police Agency official Liu Chen-an (劉振安) told the press conference.

Taipei City Traffic Division deputy captain of police Lin Chi-tien (林基田) said that all 133 speed detectors and red light cameras in the city follow regulations and are adjusted each year based on traffic conditions.