Taiwan needs to slam the brakes on fatigued driving
The China Post news staff
December 13, 2013, 12:13 am TWN
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.