Scooter-sharing companies in New Taipei City are to be required to create a system for banning scofflaw riders after data showed that traffic infractions they incurred were 10 times that of regular scooter riders.
Scooter sharing has become ubiquitous in the city since WeMo launched its services there in early 2019.
Three other firms — iRent, Gogoro’s GoShare and CarPlus’ GoSmart — have since entered the market, offering a combined 17,246 scooters for short-term rentals in 16 districts across the city.
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
However, New Taipei City Transportation Department data show that the system poses a challenge to road safety, with traffic infractions and crashes in the first six months of this year involving vehicles that the companies provide far exceeding those among other riders.
Shared scooter riders were involved in 376.8 traffic infractions per 1,000 riders in the year to June, compared with 34.7 among all other scooter riders, the data showed.
Improper parking was the most common report, followed by improper adherence to road signs and speeding, the department said.
Riders of shared scooters were involved in nearly triple the number of crashes, with 6.3 per 1,000 scooters compared with 2.1 per 1,000 among all others, it said.
Department Director Chung Ming-shih (鍾鳴時) told a meeting of the city council’s road safety committee on Tuesday that the department would require greater oversight.
The operators have already been asked to create a “blacklist” of customers found guilty of drunk driving, driving without a license or other dangerous activity, Chung said.
They are also required to set up an inquiry system for the government to check scooter distribution, he said.
As the city is closely integrated with Taipei and Taoyuan, Chung also called for cooperation to set up an evaluation mechanism for vehicle sharing to improve safety and quality.
The report follows calls last month by Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) for better oversight of scooter sharing in the capital.
At a Taipei City Council meeting, Wu cited data that showed riders of shared scooters were responsible for 21,937 infractions last year.
The most common offense was parking tickets, which accounted for more than 57 percent of all such tickets issued in the city last year, Wu’s data showed.
Additional reporting by Kuo An-chia
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