I don’t intend for this post to have an attitude of “why Taipei is bad and North America is better …” So, don’t read more into it than what’s expressed.
Anyway, it seems the government here has little understanding of pedestrian safety. Parking violations? Sure, they understand parking violations, and I see loads of parking tickets given out. But there is good reason that in the US there is significant legal difference between a parking violation and a moving violation. A parking violation implies (in almost all cases) that you have been an inconvenience to others. While a moving violation (in most cases) implies that your driving potentially risked the welfare or lives of others.
Importantly, motor scooters in the US are considered motor vehicles. So are cars and trucks etc. So, an operator of a motor scooter can be charged with a moving violation. In Taipei, however, motor scooter drivers seem to behave like pedestrians and be treated like pedestrians by law enforcement.
A number of times I have been (albeit mildly) run into by a motor scooter as I walked on a sidewalk or through a crosswalk. Crosswalks and sidewalks aren’t the only places where scooter driver assume to be pedestrians. Other places include night markets and more seriously, bus stops. To the ordinary scooter driver, a bus stop zone represents a prime space for passing buses and thereby reducing their total travel time by maybe a few minutes. Nevermind the fact that people on foot would like to board or exit the bus. In the US, passing a bus on the right, through a stop zone, would incur HUGE fines and likely suspension of your license. But in Taipei, it’s normal, and nobody seems to question the fact.
In the West, if people have a legal right of way, at least a good number of them will assert that right. In Taipei like in much of Asia, I see nothing like this. Instead, the lone pedestrian is sheepish and gives way to anything bigger. So, if pedestrians won’t stand up for themselves, where is the government? Why not reduce taxes, create jobs, and increase public welfare by actually enforcing laws to protect pedestrians?