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Fines for digital device use while driving likely in Oct.

TAIPEI -- Drivers caught using hand-held digital devices while driving could be fined up to NT$3,000 (US$102) from next month, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.

An amendment to a statute governing road traffic safety that cleared the Legislature earlier this year is designed to clamp down on drivers using such devices, said transport official Lin Fu-shan.

“The law will require drivers to be totally focused on driving, even while waiting at red lights,” Lin said.

According to the new law, drivers caught holding mobile phones, computers or other devices and using them for dialing, listening or data communication or other functions that hamper driving safety will be fined NT$3,000.

The fine will be NT$1,000 for motorcyclists. Cyclists and pedestrians will not be constrained by the laws.

Nevertheless, Lin said a grace period is likely to be implemented to familiarize drivers with the new regulations.

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