Penalty Increase Proposal for Not Giving Way to Pedestrians

CNN Travel recently reported on Taiwan’s traffic in a special article, pointing out that dangerous roads are well-known. The article also quoted the warning from the U.S. State Department, “be alert for the many scooters and motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic…Exercise caution when crossing streets.” CNN’s report triggered a response from many Taiwanese netizens. Civic groups have called for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to improve the situation.

Chen Hung-i, Chairperson, Taiwan Traffic Safety Assoc.: “Vehicles and foot traffic should complement each other, not replace each other. Pedestrians need a physical pedestrian walkway instead of just a smear of green paint.”

Elected representatives pointed out that Japan, whose population is six times that of Taiwan, had 2,636 traffic fatalities in 2021, while Taiwan had nearly 3,000 deaths. The number of road traffic fatalities in Taiwan from January to November this year also increased compared to last year. The Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kuo-tsai responded that his ministry has worked with local governments to formulate countermeasures in five counties and cities with more traffic accidents. The MOTC has started to amend the law to increase fines on drivers not yielding to pedestrians.

Wang Kuo-tsai, Minister, MOTC: “Our proposed amendment, which is currently in the Legislative Yuan for review, will increase the fine from NT$3,600 to NT$6,000 for drivers not yielding to pedestrians.”

The MOTC stated that in the past, road design in urban areas was based on vehicles, but now, design is gradually improving. However, there are still many shortcomings, and the ministry will continue to work hard to improve.