The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) should allow people decide whether they want anti-locking braking system (ABS) or combined braking system (CBS) installed on their motorbikes, the legislature’s Transportation Committee said yesterday.
Although the ministry said that the measure aims to curb casualties in traffic accidents involving motorbikes and is congruent with the safety guidelines stipulated by the UN Economic Commission for Europe, many people complained of the extra cost the systems would bring.
The ministry on Tuesday relented by saying that it would temporarily halt the implementation of a policy requiring all new motorbikes to have ABS or CBS installed by 2021, including new motorbikes manufactured before next year, after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) asked the agency to reassess the policy following public complaints.
However, all new motorbikes produced from Jan. 1 must still be equipped with ABS or CBS, the ministry said.
The issue was scrutinized by the committee, which was supposed to review the budget for Taoyuan International Airport Corp and Taiwan Railways Administration for next year.
The committee passed a resolution proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲), Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清) and Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) that the ministry should let riders decide whether they want the systems installed on their motorbikes, adding that they can make the decision after considering their driving habits, road conditions and safety requirements.
Many Taiwanese, particularly financially disadvantaged people, ride motorbikes to work or to conduct business, they said, adding that the ministry should reconsider the direction of the policy to meet the public’s expectation.
The committee in another resolution said that the ministry should offer subsidies to students paying student loans when purchasing motorbikes equipped with ABS and work with motorbike manufacturers to offer discounts.
It should also confer with other government agencies about the possibility of lowering vehicle liability insurance premiums for people buying ABS-equipped motorbikes, the commission said.
Based on the safety inspection standards that the ministry announced in 2015, new motorbikes with an engine displacement of 126 cubic centimeters (cc) or larger that are produced from next year must be equipped with ABS, while 125cc or smaller must be equipped with ABS or CBS.
The standards only apply to new motorbikes and do not apply to motorbikes that are already in use, Acting Minister of Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said on Monday, adding that only about 15 percent of the new motorbikes sold next year would be equipped with ABS or CBS.
People are not required to buy motorbikes with ABS or CBS, he said.
Motorbikes equipped with ABS and CBS are expected to cost an additional NT$8,000 and NT$1,500 respectively, Wang said.
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