Police step up traffic rules enforcement to improve road safety

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — A month-long nationwide road safety improvement campaign kicked off Tuesday, during which the number of police enforcing traffic regulations across the country will be increased, with a focus on fining motorists who fail to yield at crosswalks NT$3,600 (US$121.5).

The campaign, which is a collaboration between the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) and the National Police Agency (NPA) will also focus on fining motorists who run red lights (NT$1,800 to NT$5,400); as well as vehicles illegally turning right at a red light (NT$1,800 to NT$5,400).

Pedestrians who do not obey traffic signs and/or who fail to use a designated sidewalk when crossing a road will be fined NT$300, according to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act, the MOTC said.

Meanwhile, the ministry also announced that it will soon amend related laws to double the maximum fine for motorists who do not yield at crosswalks and intersections from NT$3,600 to NT$6,000.

According to MOTC, statistics indicate a drop in the number of traffic accidents involving drunk drivers since the maximum fine for drunk drivers was raised from NT$60,000 to NT$90,000 in March 2013.

MOTC statistics show a large drop in the number of traffic accidents involving drunk drivers over the past five years from 12,112 in 2015 to 9,097 in 2019.

The number of people killed in such accidents also fell from 399 in 2015 to 293 in 2019.

The MOTC said Taiwan’s current fine for motorists who do not yield at crosswalks is lower than for similar offenses in other countries, including France (NT$4,739), South Korea (NT$5,523), Japan (NT$13,689) and the State of New Jersey in the United States (NT$6,174).

The MOTC hopes that increasing the fine for drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians will deter potential offenders.

As part of the nationwide traffic regulation enforcement campaign, police in the nation’s six municipalities increased the number of officers conducting inspections at crash-prone intersections starting Tuesday.

In Taipei, police were stationed at the intersection of Minsheng East Road-Linsen North Road in Zhongshan District during the first day of the campaign.

Meanwhile, in nearby New Taipei City, traffic police focused on Banqiao District.

In northern Taoyuan City, police said they have dispatched 221 officers to beef up the enforcement of traffic rules.

The police department in central Taichung City has chosen to focus on 10 crash-prone intersections.

Taichung Police Department’s 4th Precinct said 12 officers were sent to enforce traffic regulations at selected locations and that as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, they had issued 31 fines, 29 for running red lights.