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ROAD SAFETY/Flash mob protesters across Taiwan object traffic act amendment

03/17/2024 09:15 PM
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Flash mob protesters object to a traffic law amendment in front of the the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo March 17, 2024
Flash mob protesters object to a traffic law amendment in front of the the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Sunday. CNA photo March 17, 2024

Taipei, March 17 (CNA) Road safety activists took to the streets on Sunday in seven cities and counties in Taiwan to protest the draft amendment of a traffic penalty act that would effectively ease punishments for "minor" traffic violations.

The protests were organized by the Taiwan Vision Zero Alliance (TVZA) and lasted for around 30 minutes on the streets of the cities of Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung and in Yunlin County.

Flash mob protesters cross a pedestrian crosswalk in Yunlin County on Sunday. Photo courtesy of a private contributor March 17, 2024
Flash mob protesters cross a pedestrian crosswalk in Yunlin County on Sunday. Photo courtesy of a private contributor March 17, 2024

The protesters called for improved road construction, adequate complementary measures to the law, retraining procedures for drivers, reform of how traffic regulations are enforced, and for the amendment draft to be retracted.

Under the proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act, which was greenlit by the Cabinet on March 7, members of the public would no longer be able to report traffic violations that carry fines of up to NT$1,200 (US$37.91).

Such violations include talking on a mobile phone while riding a scooter, reversing a vehicle without paying attention to pedestrians, and illegally parking in designated spaces for the disabled.

A group in Tainan commented that passing the amendment would "make it convenient to violate laws."

Demonstrators are also calling on the public to join a march in front of the Legislative Yuan on March 23 to up pressure on the government to retract the amendment draft.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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