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ROAD SAFETY/Taiwan crosswalk system could get shake-up in bid for safety: MOTC

03/22/2024 08:29 PM
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A white and green pedestrian crossing in Changhua County. CNA photo March 22, 2023
A white and green pedestrian crossing in Changhua County. CNA photo March 22, 2023

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Taiwan could see more green and white pedestrian crossings and more distance allotted for turning vehicles at intersections if a planned traffic amendment focused on improving pedestrian safety is implemented, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

The planned implementation of the amendment to the Regulations for Road Traffic Signs, Markings and Signals would give clear protocols for local governments to follow, MOTC official Chu Da-ching (朱大慶) said.

The amendment seeks to advise local governments to redesign pedestrian crossings to reduce the number of traffic accidents around Taiwan's intersections, according to the ministry.

Measures include moving crossings further away from intersections and painting crossings white and green.

The eye-catching green is meant to alert approaching vehicles to slow down as they approach the crossings, according to Chu.

Moreover, it will be advised that crosswalks are pulled three to five meters away from intersections to give drivers turning longer to react to moving pedestrians and avoid blind spots.

A pedestrian crossing that has been pulled away from an intersection in Taichung. CNA photo March 22, 2024
A pedestrian crossing that has been pulled away from an intersection in Taichung. CNA photo March 22, 2024

Before the implementation of the amended regulation, local municipalities only have a guideline introduced last year advising them how to improve pedestrian safety to rely on.

Several cities and counties in Taiwan have already implemented some of the new traffic regulations and said they have had positive results.

Kaohsiung and Keelung noted that their newly painted crosswalks had seen a decrease in accidents.

Meanwhile, Taichung City and Changhua County both said they had moved their crosswalks further away from intersections.

Changhua County said it has shifted crosswalks in 124 locations across the country, giving drivers more time to see pedestrians crossing roads.

The green and white crosswalks in Kaohsiung. CNA photo March 22, 2024
The green and white crosswalks in Kaohsiung. CNA photo March 22, 2024

The ministry's statistics revealed that most (229,268) traffic accidents in 2023 happened at intersections.

The MOTC said 1,362 people died as a result of such accidents, making up 45 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

Furthermore, 311,857 people were injured at intersections during that period, comprising 58 percent of all traffic injuries.

(By Wang Shu-fen and James Lo)

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A green and white crosswalk in Chiayi City, which decided not to introduce this color combination at more intersections because of the higher costs. CNA photo March 22, 2024
A green and white crosswalk in Chiayi City, which decided not to introduce this color combination at more intersections because of the higher costs. CNA photo March 22, 2024
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