Lawmakers want adjustment of bonuses from traffic tickets

The China Post news staff

Lawmakers yesterday called for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) to amend rules to better regulate the giving of bonuses to those who have performed well in cracking down on violations of traffic rules.

Lawmakers issued the call when screening part of MOTC’s 2010 budget plans that have been frozen, at the Transportation Committee meeting of the Legislative Yuan. Statistics compiled by the MOTC showed that total fines collected from violators of traffic regulations in 2009 amounted to a high of NT$16.5 billion, with the performance bonus payment for policemen and transportation aides amounting to NT$391 million.

Lawmaker Wang Hsing-nan of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party said that in order to receive handsome bonuses, quite a few policemen hide themselves to take pictures unaware drivers violating traffic rules. He asked the MOTC to come up with improved measures to correct the undesirable phenomenon.

Wang continued to state that the MOTC has allowed local county and city government chiefs to appropriate part of fines on traffic violations as performance bonuses and determine the allocation of such a bonus, but the Tainan City Government has so far been the only local government that hasn’t set aside such a performance bonus. The DPP lawmaker said that fines collected from drivers whose violations were recorded by fixed cameras accounted for the largest portion of aggregate fines, but there should be no bonus appropriated for this kind of crackdown. He asserted that those policemen or assistant law enforcement officers who conduct mobile crackdowns in the rain or under the sun should be granted a larger bonus.

In response, Vice MOTC Minister Yeh Kuang-shih said that his ministry has revised relevant regulations governing the appropriation and allocation of performance bonuses for crackdowns on traffic violations, and will make such a bonus part of the public affairs budget starting from 2011. Under the existing rules and regulations, local governments are allowed to appropriate a maximum of 6 percent of aggregate fines collected as performance bonuses, and police units under the jurisdiction of the National Police Agency are permitted to keep a maximum of 65 percent of the fines. But starting from 2011, the above-mentioned bonus ratios will be scrapped, and local governments and police units will be required to incorporate the above-mentioned bonus appropriation into their annual budget plans.