Taiwan's rules of the road


#1

I know Taiwan’s unwritten rules of the road have been recorded better elsewhere but the following represent my struggle to figure out how to survive out there. Correct me if I’ve drawn some hasty conclusions:

Taiwan road rules in order of priority:

  1. Intimidate or be intimidated.

  2. There is no right-of-way, only outta my way.

  3. Show no mercy or courtesy, you only end up being scorned and pushed aside.

  4. If you leave a safe gap, something will fill it – taxi, scooter, bike, wheelchair or pushcart.

  5. Taxis, buses and trucks actually own the roads. They just let us borrow what’s left over.

  6. To make a left turn, pull in front of on-coming traffic and force it to a complete stop, survey everyone with surprised indifference for a moment, then proceed with left turn.

  7. To make a lane change, first change lanes, then look back to see who you’ve cut off.

  8. Traffic rules are optional according to wealth and social status.

  9. The government has given up trying to do anything about the traffic mess. It’s only trying to make a profit off it now.

  10. Taiwan traffic will grind to a complete, permanent island-wide halt in about six years.


#2

I agree, and one more thing.If you ride a scooter, watch out for the COPS. They’re out to get you. It makes no difference what anyone in any other vehicle does, if you ride a scooter you’re marked. They ask people at random to stop and issue tickets to them for whatever they can think of. But I guess we can’t ask these people to only stop those they suspect of driving under the influence or those who drive recklessly. Just more of the bull@#$% police state crap I’ve come to expect. And yes I know there are other “true” police states which are for more repressive but do the Taiwanese want to be a free democracy or not?


#3
quote:
Originally posted by zentouque: I agree, and one more thing.If you ride a scooter, watch out for the COPS. They're out to get you. It makes no difference what anyone in any other vehicle does, if you ride a scooter you're marked. They ask people at random to stop and issue tickets to them for whatever they can think of. ...
Really zentouque, what exactly did you get a ticket for? Did the police just issue a malicous ticket or were you really breaking road rules? I have never be issued (or known of anyone) who got a ticket for a infraction they did not commit. I mean it is easy enough to find people breaking the rules! Also, the police have pulled me over and let me off quite a few time too. I don't think I would have got off so lightly in other 'democracies' like the US. $100 fine and traffic school more like! Judging from the traffic stops in the city at night, cars seem to get stopped just the same.

I honestly don’t know why people get so worked up about the occasional traffic stop. It does operate as quite a deterrant for drunk driving and driving without a license. As long as the police don’t overstep their powers and only check matters relating to compliance with road laws, where is the harm? Asking to see your license & insurance is hardly like searching your home!

So zentouque, are things really that different in Kaohsuing. Has it really turned into a police state, where cops issue tickets to any group they fancy oppressing? And why do you think they picked motorcyclists, rather than dragging political opponents from their homes at night and beating them?

Are you sure you are not getting paranoid here?


#4

I would say that obvious foreigners get, if anything, better treatment in general than any other group in Taiwan when it comes to traffic laws. What other group is allowed to commit so many infractions, ranging from illegal traffic maneuvers and driving without a license and/or registration, etc., without punishment or consequence simply by pretending not to be able, or perhaps really not being able to speak Chinese?