Article about driving in AmCham's TOPICS magazine

Going to do a little bit of self-promotion here and mention my article about driving in Taiwan in the most recent TAIWAN BUSINESS TOPICS magazine.

Here’s the link:

I mention and among the interviewees is one Forumosan (you can guess who).

Feedback, criticisms, additions, suggestions, corrections etc welcomed!

I think it is an excellent article, Steven. You got the truth out there through a great quotation–Taiwanese people are very nearly angelic in person, then morph into raving lunatics once they get behind the wheel of a car. It’s a baffling phenomenon and the worst thing about living in Taiwan.

By the way, I particularly enjoyed this part of the article :wink: :

I think road rage is a lot more common here than you make out. I can’t count the number of roadside screaming matches I have seen following traffic altercations. Many taxi and trick drivers carry blunt weapons like baseball bats or lengths of rebar and will use them if provoked. Scooter and civic punks often carry knives and either imitation or real guns.
And you totally missed out on the misery of parking. Parking in someone’s favorite umarked roadside space is likely to get your car vandalized or deliberately blocked in.
Then there’s the inevitable break-ins if you leave your car parked in a secluded area.
I think you should have probably pointed out in your article that if you drive in Taiwan, misfortune will befall you sooner or later. Only when you understand and accept that should you turn the key in the ignition.

Hey thanks for the shout-out! :notworthy: CoOme to a happy hour someday and I’ll buy you a beer! :beer:

After reading that, I’m just glad I live in Taipei and not this “Taiwan” of which you speak. Although I do travel to Taichung quite often. Those mad guys must have just stayed pretty much out of my way these last 20 years, thank god!
If driving here was really like that article, well damn! I wouldn’t have a car OR a scooter.
As for the barroom conversations, well, go into any local bar on the A9 in Scotland and you’ll overhear scathing convos about “those bloody tourists” and their crap driving.

What’s a “convo”? I come from as far south of the border as is possible without speaking French.

What’s a “convo”? I come from as far south of the border as is possible without speaking French.[/quote]
Conversation. And it holds good for pretty much ANY part of our great nation. And for your green and pleasant land, too.

I often drive in Taichung. It’s better than Taipei due to wider roads and smaller traffic volume. It’s almost pleasant at times! People’s driving skills suck, they are selfish, double park everywhere but I haven’t seen any altercations since I’ve been here.

Steve, your article got half page A6 on the China Times. :laughing: Plus special mention on the local TV news. :roflmao: … 27202.html … 272l1.html

Moreover, some reporter here on Computex detail wrote a piece on the dangerous Taiwanese taxi drivers, who watch TV and surf the net on their cellphones while driving. :notworthy: … video-cha/

Video chatting while driving? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that, though I’m not in taxis much anymore.

Am I now famous? Am I expected to sign autographs? Do I get any groupies?

The China Times text is here, followed by an unpolished Google translation:



 雜誌:禮讓美德 上路全走樣

 商會會刊《Taiwan Business TOPICS》文章肯定台灣交通諸多優點,例如價格低、效率高、高速公路維修良好且有雙語標示等。文中也說,在美國,一千個駕駛人裡,八百個為別人著想,一百九十九個很自私,還有一個是帶著槍的瘋子;在台灣,自私的、莽撞的駕駛人比例高於美國,但通常不會有人拿槍拚命。而且面對慢速或拿不定主意的車輛駕駛人,大部分台灣的駕駛人都非常容忍。


 批駕駛沒耐心 壞習慣一籮筐

 台灣有個專門協助外國人進行車輛檢測、考照服務的機構Auto Checkers。文中引述此一機構介紹,稱台灣有各種不良的駕駛習慣,包括搶黃燈、闖紅燈、違規停車、不打燈就換線、跟車太近、任意切進別人的車道、超速、違規迴轉、雙黃線違規轉彎、不肯禮讓其他車輛、任意占用行人道、在單行道逆向行駛、占用兩個車道行駛、不肯禮讓行人,「以及其他」。

 該機構的創辦人Jamie Alton特別指出,台灣駕駛人的很多惡習─例如酒後駕車─是因為公權力不彰以及「考照方式荒謬可笑」。他說,現行的考照制度之下,駕駛人不必適應繁忙的都市交通,也不必具備安全駕駛所需的技能,「考照場的設計與台灣實際的道路狀況相去甚遠」。且台灣的交通環境「與世界其他很多地方大不相同」,因此外國人到台灣,不可不察。

 考照場與真實路況 相差甚遠


Two distinctly different issues, said a U.S. publication, Taiwan driver’s license examination absurd and impractical. The picture above shows people driving training classes in school vehicles (newspaper profile photo / Li Weide Chang). Left, Civil Boulevard, Taipei cutting work time motorcycle traffic scene. (Huangshi Qi Lin)

Taipei American Chamber of Commerce, said the people of Taiwan have all kinds of virtues, but once mastered the steering wheel on gives; and driver's license examination system ridiculous, completely unrealistic. Association Bulletin No. special article in June on "driving in Taiwan", the paper pointed out that the foreigners in Taiwan, armed with the steering wheel, a "frustration, joy, a combination of", even a very short time, will find "Taiwan drive motorcycle riding ways and North America, Western Europe big difference. "

Magazine: courtesy the United States and Germany the road all aliasing

Chamber of Commerce journal "Taiwan Business TOPICS" article affirmed Taiwan's traffic many advantages, such as low cost, high efficiency and good highway maintenance and bilingual signs. The article also said the United States, 1,000 drivers, the 800 for others, 199 is very selfish, there is a madman with guns; in Taiwan, selfish, reckless driver higher than the U.S., but no one gun is usually hard. And slow or not decide to face the driver of a vehicle, most drivers in Taiwan are very tolerant.

However, the article changed the subject, wrote, Taiwan, common virtues, such as comity, not wanting other, "to the road, very different." Work in Tainan, a British businessman said that Taiwan's automobile drivers are not patient, always grab the front; motorcycle riders are ready to shot like arrows out of, and the shuttle in traffic; There are also truck drivers, which would not have said.

Grant no patience driving a laundry list of bad habits

Taiwan has a specialist to help foreigners, vehicle detection, according to service agencies examination Auto Checkers. The paper quoted the introduction of such a body, said Taiwan has a variety of bad driving habits, including the looting yellow, red light running, illegal parking, not to fight the lights on the exchange line, with the car too close to any cut into the other lane, speeding, illegal turn, double yellow lines illegal turn, refused to give way to other vehicles, any occupation of pavements, traffic in the reverse one-way street, occupied by two lane, refused to give way to pedestrians, "and other."

The agency's founder Jamie Alton to point out that many of Taiwan's driver habit ─ ─ such as drunk driving, and therefore made little public authority because of "test taking photos of the absurd." He said that under the current licensing exams system, drivers need to adapt to the busy city traffic, but also do not have the necessary skills to drive safely, "according to field test the design and actual road conditions far from Taiwan." Taiwan's transportation and environment "and many other parts of the world different," so alien to Taiwan must be aware of.

According to field test falls far short of the real traffic

Chamber of Commerce, the article said, before driving the road, it takes time for psychological development, to become familiar with the traffic culture unique to Taiwan, for example, beyond the motorcycle, a bicycle, the first by a short sound speakers; they must always pay attention to other vehicles such as the sudden turn and so on.

If someone somewhere drives more carefully after reading this report, and an accident is thus avoided, my scribbling won’t have been in vain…

That’s classic!

That’s classic![/quote]

A mere native speaker like me could never come up with anything to match translation software at its finest.

Thanks for the mention Steven. I even got a call from TVBS this morning for an interview as a followup for TV. Alas, i am in Hualien at this time and so couldn’t make it. Hopefully the article might cause some to reflect on their own habits.