Police under fire for awkward response to safety issue

(Screengrab from Naick and Kim's YouTube)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — YouTubers Naick and Kim from Belgium recently uploaded a video on their YouTube channel documenting their trip to the Taroko Gorge and Sun Moon Lake.

On their way to their destinations, they encountered two huge trucks that tailgated their car and expressed anger at the danger of such reckless driving.

Upon learning of the situation, however, local authorities responded that it was merely a display of “Taiwan customs,” angering netizens along the way. 

Naick said: “We’re doing 60 here on the road, so I’m just keeping the speed limit. First, this truck came up behind me and was like this far from my bumper, and was super close.”

She added: “[It] started honking at me, I’m just driving in the right lane, and he tried to overtake me. And then there was another car in front, and he was tailgating him as well, and then he nearly drove me off the road!”

Naick added: “Reckless, super dangerous driving; If I had to brake for I don’t know what, we would have been dead!”

To this, the Jiji Branch of Nantou County Police posted to Facebook on July 18 stating that whether it be foreigners or locals, everyone can be the police’s eyes and ears, and emphasized that after confirming that the trucks in the video were indeed violating traffic regulation, local police will not hesitate to prosecute the truck drivers to show their determination [in executing the law].

However, after the post was published, Chinese-language media reported that the deputy commissioner of Jiji Branch, Chen Chih-wen (陳志文) eventually said that he didn’t see “anything wrong” from the video.

He concluded that it could be that foreigners are not familiar with such “Taiwanese customs”.

In addition, reports also said Chen claimed that the trucks were merely trying to bypass the car, which is why it was a bit closer to them.

Naick and Kim expressed anger at being tailgated. (Screengrab from YouTube)

The response garnered angry comments from netizens with many replying underneath the Nantou County Police, Jiji Branch Facebook page, “Taiwan’s best scenery is tailgating other cars?” “I didn’t know tailgating was a local culture” and “we’ll be sure to drive according to the ‘local customs’ when in Nantou…thanks for the guidance, sir.” 

To this, in another since-deleted post, the Jiji Police Branch responded that “no matter the car, if they exceed the speed limit or tailgate other cars, we will do all we can to prosecute them, without discrimination.” 

(Screengrab from Facebook/南投縣政府警察局集集分局)