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Police begin crackdown to enforce pedestrians' rights

The police strengthened "road justice" regulation enforcement yesterday, banning motorists, drivers and pedestrians who don't follow traffic regulations on the roads.

In-line with the commencement of the road justice project this November, police began strengthening the enforcement of traffic laws. This will continue for six months. The project specifically targets pedestrians who jay-walk or cross red lights, and motorists and drivers who don't yield to pedestrians.

Two pedestrians yesterday were fined NT$300 each, while four drivers were also fined in Taipei for not yielding to pedestrians.

The number of pedestrian deaths from January to August of 2012 was 160, eight more than for the equivalent period in 2011, according to statistics from the National Police Agency (NPA).

Increased enforcement of pedestrians' rights began in the hopes of improving this statistic, and will become routine practice in the future.

No Laws Against Pedestrians Using Electronics Devices

There is no law against pedestrians using electronics, such as mobile phones or tablet personal computers, while crossing the road, Dennis Huang (黃勢清), director of Taipei City's Traffic Police Division said yesterday.

Except for the elderly, pedestrians are encouraged to walk along crossroads quickly, Huang added. Slow-moving pedestrians cause right-turning cars to wait longer, which causes traffic congestion.

As for drivers and motorists, the NPA has already begun promoting a policy against the use of mobile phones and tablet computers while riding motorcycles or driving cars. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, citizens who break these regulations will be issued traffic tickets.

November 2, 2012    Curtisakbar@
A law for Taipei not for Taiwan.
January 12, 2013    guest@
The vast majority of drivers in Taiwan do not yield to pedestrians. This is not just an enforcement problem -- it is a fundamental problem with Taiwanese culture, and the way that Taiwanese people view the lives of strangers not related to themselves. People would rather run someone over than be delayed by an extra few seconds. Zebra "crossings" are a sick joke, presumably designed to stimulate business for companies that sell white paint, because that's all they're good for. The police are either unwilling or incapable of enforcing the law. A complete disgrace.
January 15, 2013    elumpen@
A whole six months, eh? This time, they're SERIOUS!

Not.
January 16, 2013    ludahai_twn@
I live in Taichung and I have NEVER seen anyone ticketed for failure to yield at a crosswalk. Violating this law is a regular occurrence. In fact, many people don't even KNOW they are supposed to yield. Lack of enforcement by police and a fundamental lack of discipline by Taiwanese drivers (including illegal parking) have created a dangerous situation on Taiwan's roadways.
January 18, 2013    ges11555@
Rules are rules. If they are enforced, people will change. Six months isn't enough.
January 20, 2013    gongfufan@
Like my Taiwan friend said to me - Zebra crossings and indicators are just for decoration. But you have to take a look at the culture as well, it is not uncommon to see small babies being carried in a mother’s arms while she sits astride a scooter driven by her partner. Also they have this habit of emerging from a side road but they never look left, they just pull out regardless of oncoming traffic...GO figure. Also my friend was hospitalized when a passenger emerged illegally from a taxi cab’s left rear door and she ran onto it on her scooter. She got away with a broken ankle and the bike was scrap metal. I could go on and on!
January 20, 2013    in.sanxia@
Ma talks about increasing tourism on our beautiful island, but the world knows that Taiwan is not user friendly. The streets are dangerous and the police are unwilling or unable to make them safe. What is wrong with us??
January 23, 2013    freeman@
Three months later and it is still business as usual. Adding insult to injury, while at a cross-walk (zebra crossing), a police officer on a police scooter drove right by me and failed to yield. How can you expect the police to enforce the law, when they don't even abide by regulations themselves?
January 24, 2013    johnny.brian@
Both drivers and pedestrians are the same, they don't follow rules and regulations, any where in Taiwan. A majority of local drivers who will turn right without care for the pedestrian, while pedestrians are silly enough to run across the street or just so dumb enough to stand on the pedestrian lines and the street even there is a sidewalk. What is new here?
January 24, 2013    jackson5@
I find that the drivers in Taipei are fine and getting better. Crosswalks are well painted and maintained...I would like to see more people ticketed island wide especially for illegal parking...but again, the living environment overall is improving.
May 22, 2013    hotlip@
Disregard for traffic laws boils down to the complete lack of respect for the police which they have brought on themselves because of their uselessness. Tax payer’s money would be better spent on the health services and not incompetent people masquerading as "police". This is an insult to the word.
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