NT$3,000 fines for idling cars to come into effect on June 1

The China Post

By Grace Soong–Beginning June 1, drivers who idle their cars on the side of the street for over three minutes will be fined a minimum of NT$3,000, while fines for motorbike riders who fail to follow the new anti-idling regulation will begin at NT$1,500, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced, yesterday. Although various cities across Taiwan have similar regulations outlined by the local governments, it was not until last April that the Legislative Yuan passed the nationwide law on vehicle idling. The three-month grace period of enforcing this new regulation will expire on June 1.

Most drivers and motorcyclists who leave their vehicles idling for minutes on end are waiting for people, meeting with others inside the vehicles, or just resting, Hsieh Yein-rui (謝燕儒), director general of the EPA’s Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control indicated, drawing this conclusion from the over 34,000 warnings police officers have given out across Taiwan over the grace period. Schools, shopping centers, hospitals, train stations, scenic areas, and hotels are where idling vehicles are most frequently seen, he pointed out. Statistics show that if the engine of a passenger-carrying vehicle is shut off for 30 additional minutes per day, a total of 640 liters of gas, with a worth of NT$21,000, could be saved over a yearlong period. Expanding such calculations across the nation, if one-tenth of Taiwan’s 6 million vehicles turn off their engines in a similar fashion, a total of NT$12 billion could be saved on fuel per year, Hsieh said.

Individual cases of passengers facing health conditions requiring the air conditioning to be on, hence the need to continue running their engines, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, Hsieh said, explaining that the government is not enforcing this policy to inconvenience people; it is for the purpose of protecting the public’s health and the environment while saving fuel that this law is being imposed.