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Taiwan needs to slam the brakes on fatigued driving

The green light goes on. You step into the street — but not before you checked the lane for any reckless cars — and resume your easy gait. Everyday, pedestrians are lulled into a false sense of security by traffic lights, so reliable in their clocked intervals, and the flimsy shield of regulations that prohibit irresponsible driving. But accidents happen, and it seems like there is no way to stanch the blood and lives lost on the roads when there are drivers that do not care whether they are putting others' lives at jeopardy.

“Don't speed, don't drink, and don't touch your mobile phone.” Repeated words of caution dot street signs and sidewalks, but a disregard for human lives also extends to driver fatigue, a deadly factor that often goes unnoticed. Two graduate school students were slammed into comas last week when a 70 year-old driver who nearly dozed off exceeded the speed limit and veered into a scooter waiting zone where the two were situated. It should be noted that though many driving accidents result from scooters weaving precariously through busy traffic or pausing in accident-prone areas, this time the law-abiders were on the receiving end of the impact. This one example is enough to render the law useless: what is left to shield our flesh and blood from being crushed by iron?

Further research revealed that the man had a record of fatigued driving six years ago, when he tore into a police car.

Intoxication is not the sole cause of irresponsible driving when people are out on the streets. Driver fatigue is a main contributing factor in fatal and non-fatal vehicle accidents worldwide, but it has been noted by both authorities and researchers that the murderous potential of on-road weariness may be larger than anticipated, as there is no real way by which we can assess driver fatigue that leads to accidents.

December 12, 2013    sbelter@
How about this for a a preventative measure:

Prohibit the use of darkly tinted windows in private automobiles. Maybe there are laws against this, but it doesn't seem so to me, a pedestrian.

If we ban the use of these windows, pedestrians might be able to notice whether someone is fatigued or asleep or watching their TV or whatever while at the wheel. In fact, I can't even tell if the drivers on the road are even old enough for Junior High School! I can't see them. When sharing the road, I have no way of knowing anything about the situation inside a potentially lethal weapon.

Also, why is it that there isn't a real road test on the real streets of Taiwan!?



December 14, 2013    kaw4idd@
Agree with sbelter: darkly tinted windows tend to encourage irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. Take away the dark tint and your local driver will become much more afraid of "losing face" as a lawless driver
December 18, 2013    ludahai_twn@
How about strict enforcement of traffic laws. I see countless violations every day. The police need to be much more proactive in making the roads a safe place for EVERYONE who uses them.
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