Taipei Pedestrian Safety & Law Enforcement

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?

Oh man, this is just like the fly on the elephants trunk.
Taipei is like a pedestrian paradise compared to the rest of the island.

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[quote=“headhonchoII”]Oh man, this is just like the fly on the elephants trunk.
Taipei is like a pedestrian paradise compared to the rest of the island.[/quote]
I’ve spent a weekend in Hualien. Otherwise, I’ve been in Taipei county for several months. It was much better in Hualien, mainly because there is much less traffic, and motorists seemed more relaxed and less anxious to reduce their travel time by a minute or two.

It is actually illegal to drive a motor scooter on the sidewalk in Taipei city now. If you take a picture with your phone and find a way to give it to the police they will look into sending fines.

Thanks for the feedback.
Does this hold for the whole county, or just Taipei City?

So you spent a weekend in Hualien, good for you.

You are now finding out what Taipei city and New Taipei City means.

[quote=“gentletree”]
… Parking violations? Sure, they understand parking violations, and I see loads of parking tickets given out. … [/quote]

Are you sure those “parking tickets” are for parking violations and not parking fees? If you’re parked inside one of those white boxes, someone will usually come along and tuck a piece of paper that looks like a cash register receipt under your windshield wiper. Every half hour or so they will amend it. It’s usually an older lady wearing a “rice paddy” sombrero that does it, not the police.

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Parking fees are around 20nt an hour, not a lot. Parking ticket is significantly higher. The parking fee comes in a small slip of (usually blue, but can be any other color) thermal paper, with a list of fees written on it, along with stamps next to however much you owe. As time goes on they will add more stamp, so your fee would be the last number stamped. If you can’t figure it out take it to a 7-11 to pay it, they’ll be able to figure that out.

Parking tickets comes in a large pink slip, and is at least 1000nt.

[quote=“formosaobama”][quote=“gentletree”]
… Parking violations? Sure, they understand parking violations, and I see loads of parking tickets given out. … [/quote]

Are you sure those “parking tickets” are for parking violations and not parking fees? If you’re parked inside one of those white boxes, someone will usually come along and tuck a piece of paper that looks like a cash register receipt under your windshield wiper. Every half hour or so they will amend it. It’s usually an older lady wearing a “rice paddy” sombrero that does it, not the police.[/quote]
You may well be right. Only, I’ve seen them on cars parked at night in neighborhoods. So I judged they must be parking tickets (fines)

Thanks for the feedback.
Does this hold for the whole county, or just Taipei City?[/quote]

just Taipei city, outside of that law and order are nothing but a foreigners dream

Improvement on the horizon, finally.

No more speeding on the sidewalks.

“People using mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs could face speeding fines of NT$300 if caught going in excess of 6kph on sidewalks after legislators yesterday gave preliminary approval to amend the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).”

“The amendment would also regulate other devices, including skate-scooters, electric bicycles and electric scooters.”

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Yea like it’s going to ever get enforced… besides 300nt fine is nothing. Especially with electric scooters.

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I WANT them on the sidewalks. There are few things more terrifying than old people (not wearing helmets) driving their powered wheelchairs in the middle of the busy road at 5 kph.

Oh wait, there aren’t any sidewalks for them to drive on…

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You’ve never witnessed them speeding on a sidewalk?

What sidewalk?! JK, Yes, I have nearly been run over by them on the sidewalk, but it’s not a lot different than the near run-ins with death that have come from scooters going 60kph on the sidewalk.

Taiwan is going to need to a) increase fines by a lot more than the cost of a mediocre lunch and b) actually enforce the law if they want to even look like they might be thinking about trying.

My plan right now if I ever win the mega millions is to print vinyl stickers (the kind that really don’t ever come off of anything for any reason) that say things like “I can park wherever I want” and “the police don’t care what I do” and “traffic violating king” other such obvious things (maybe even faces of the police chiefs?) and then hire people to put them all over obviously visible places (read: windshields and driver side windows) of every motor vehicle that breaks the laws that exist to protect human lives here. Maybe I’ll do the sticker putting on myself. Regardless of who does the work, I’ll hire a good legal team to point out the brutally moronic nature of me being prosecuted for vandalism when the point of the the vandalism is that the cops don’t give a flying fuck about the motor vehicles nearly flattening everyone at every minute of every day, despite plenty of laws in place. Face-loosing for the coppers while the media has a field day about that foreigner who stuck stickers that don’t come off on lot’s of guyz’s Benz’s and BMW’s (and ah-ma’s scooters) and then maybe, just maybe, the police will stop drinking tea and playing video games at the station and go out and issue moving violations. (more likely the gangs kill me, but maybe it’d change Taiwanese society? lol as if…)

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The problem with police is they only do what they are told to do that day, they don’t care about anything else.

Good plan, but it will backfire the moment they find out your are a foreigner.
All newspapers will go like: “Foreigner vandal destroys property of hard-working Taiwaneses trying to shame the whole country!”