The number of fatal traffic crashes on freeways, or A1-type accidents, as well as casualties in such incidents, rose by more than 50 percent from January to last month, the Freeway Bureau said on Tuesday.
Twenty-nine accidents that occurred in the past five months led to deaths immediately or within 24 hours, a 55 percent increase from the same period last year, bureau data showed.
Thirty people were killed and 20 injured, up 56 percent and 52.6 percent respectively, the bureau said.
Photo courtesy of the Chiayi County Fire Bureau via CNA
About 62 percent of the A1-type accidents were caused by people changing lanes without using their turn signals or not paying attention to road situations ahead, the bureau said, adding that approximately 45 percent of the crashes occurred from 10pm to 6am.
Eighteen of the A1-type accidents were caused by sedan vehicles, it added.
The data showed that drivers had failed to fasten their seat belts in 10 of the A1-type accidents, the bureau said.
People were driving faster than the freeway speed limit in 13 of the incidents, it said.
“Among the 10 accidents in which drivers did not fasten their seat belts, seven of them were driving above the speed limit. This shows that drivers who do not buckle up are likely to speed as well,” the bureau said.
Eight of the 29 A1-type accidents also involved driver fatigue, it said, adding that this shows some drivers embark on trips without first getting enough rest.
“Given the severity of the [COVID-19] pandemic in the nation, we encourage people to reduce road trips as much as possible. However, if travel is unavoidable, drivers should make sure that they get enough rest before hitting the road, fasten their seat belt, operate within the speed limit and watch the road ahead,” the bureau said.
Drivers who do not fasten their seat belts when driving would be fined NT$3,000 to NT$6,000, under the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), it said.
The fine for speeding on freeways is NT$3,000 to NT$24,000, the bureau said, adding that people driving more than 60kph over the speed limit would be ordered to stop driving immediately, and face suspension of their vehicle license plates for six months or revocation of their driver’s license.
In other news, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) apologized to lawmakers for the inconvenience experienced by freeway commuters and logistics service operators during the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend, due to tightened traffic control measures that the bureau implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The average traffic volume during the three-day long weekend was 47.4 million vehicle kilometers, down 59 percent compared with the same long weekend last year, bureau data showed.
The heads of three major US banks on Wednesday pledged that they would withdraw from the Chinese market if Washington imposed sanctions on Beijing in response to an invasion of Taiwan. JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan and Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser told lawmakers at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in Washington that the three banks would follow the guidance of the US government to exit China if necessary. The three bankers made the pledge after US Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer asked the three if they
HELPING Hand: The government is to provide NT$30,000 in disaster relief to displaced people, while those who have been severely injured would receive NT$250,000 Contingency bus services are transporting rail passengers between Hualien and Taitung counties on the nation’s east coast after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake damaged facilities on Sunday, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. Until normal train services resume, the bus services would be provided every hour from 6am to 8pm between Hualien and Taitung railway stations, with stops in Jian (吉安), Shoufong (壽豐), Fonglin (鳳林), Guangfu (光復), Ruisuei (瑞穗), Yuli (玉里), Fuli (富里), Chihshang (池上), Guanshan (關山) and Luye (鹿野), the TRA said. While most of the damaged railway tracks would be repaired by today and others by Sunday, Minister of Transportation
CASELOADS FALLING: The nation’s latest COVID-19 wave seems to have peaked sooner than expected and the CECC has drawn up plans to reopen the border Changes in daily COVID-19 caseloads over the next couple of weeks would affect the timing of the border being reopened, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported 46,673 new local and 229 imported cases, as well as 39 deaths. The CECC had previously predicted that a wave of infections fueled by the Omicron BA.5 subvariant of SARS-CoV-2 would peak yesterday. Yesterday’s caseload was 6 percent lower than Wednesday last week and the decline was evident across the nation, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), head of the CECC’s disease surveillance division. Deputy Minister of Health
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners