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Safety concerns remain about big bikes on freeways: ministry

2012/08/15 22:30:42

Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) There are still safety concerns about allowing heavy-duty bikes onto freeways, the government said Wednesday, in response to a protest by motorcyclists about a delay in the announcement of certain regulations.

Hundreds of bikers gathered in front of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications earlier in the day, calling for the ministry to cease delaying its announcement on which freeway sections bikers can use and during which time slots.

The Legislature decided last November to allow motorcycles with engines of over 550cc onto freeways, but said riders have to follow regulations set by the transportation ministry about road sections and time slots.

Although the measure took effect July 1, it was withdrawn on July 10 because the transportation ministry had not been able to reach a consensus on road sections and time slots with local governments, which expressed qualms about the safety of big bikes on freeways.

The delay was due to opposition from governments in Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Nantou and Pingtung, the ministry said, adding that it will continue to discuss the issue with the local governments.

A total of 28,000 motorcycles over 550cc are registered in Taiwan, according to data from the transportation ministry.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Scully Hsiao)