A recent study conducted by a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker revealed that there are no motorcycle helmets available in Taiwan for children under five which meet the necessary safety standards.
The study by DPP Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) was released just days after an accident in Taichung in which an allegedly drunk driver crashed into a motorcycle carrying a man surnamed Chen (陳) and his son, knocking the two-year-old onto the street, where he was killed by a wound from a bolt attaching a streetlight to the ground.
“Of all the helmets approved by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, the smallest one is designed for children with a head circumference of 50cm, which in an average child would mean they were five or older,” Huang’s office said.
Photo: Huang Chung-shan, Taipei Times
“That means the parents of children under the age of five are unable to purchase a helmet that is proven to be capable of protecting their children,” it said.
Huang said some parents have bought bicycle helmets for their children, but this violates the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), which stipulates that only helmets specifically designed to be used on motorcycles or motorbikes meet the necessary standards.
According to the Taichung Police Department, children not wearing a helmet, or those wearing helmets not designed to be worn on motorcycles — such as construction safety helmets — could incur a NT$500 fine.
Photo: Chang Jui-chen, Taipei Times
The bureau said the nation’s 50cm minimum head circumference standard for helmets met international standards and that specialists invited to re-evaluate the stipulation in 2012 advised against revising the size downward.
“They feared that children under the age of five might suffer spinal damage if they are carried on motorcycles, as their necks and spines are still developing and might not be strong enough to bear movements such as braking,” the bureau said.
Jing Chuan Child Safety Foundation chief executive Lin Yueh-chin (林月琴) said the foundation has repeatedly advised parents against carrying children below the age of five on motorcycles, because the vehicle does not provide any form of protection like a car does.
“Those carrying children aged five or older are also urged to travel at a speed below 30kph and to avoid main roads,” Lin said.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she