Drivers who fail to secure goods in their vehicles that cause road debris would face fines of between NT$9,000 and NT$18,000 under proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通安全管理處罰條例).
Lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee on Thursday passed the preliminary review of the amendments.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Su-yueh (陳素月) said that items that fall from cargo trucks could injure or kill motorists.
Raising fines would remind truck drivers that they must secure the goods they carry and prevent potentially deadly accidents, she said.
Drivers who fail to secure passengers and goods in a way that creates safety hazards can be fined between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000 under current regulations.
DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said that many traffic accidents involving road debris still occur every year, which shows that many drivers remain indifferent, and that higher fines could curb recidivism.
In addition to raising fines, lawmakers also passed amendments to two other articles in the act, including one to lift the three-minute limit for temporary parking for parents picking up children under the age of seven.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) and other lawmakers who proposed the amendment said that parents have to temporarily park their cars or motorcycles at curbs with yellow lines, where they cannot remain for more than three minutes.
However, it normally takes longer than that to pick up their children, they said, adding that parents riding scooters have to help their children put on their helmets before leaving.
Another proposed amendment to the act stipulates that behavior that contravenes the rules must be reported within two months of an incident.
However, for incidents involving injuries or death for which the responsibility cannot be determined within that time frame, the two-month period would begin the day after any investigations have concluded.
Additionally, such incidents should not be reported if no investigation was performed for more than three months.
DPP Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), who proposed the amendment, said that many drivers receive traffic citations several months after an incident, which they barely recall.
He said that he agreed to the amendment because it usually takes law enforcement less than two months to verify evidence before reporting an incident.
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