Vent: Useless Traffic Cops!

While stopped at a red light, about to go on an overpass, I witnessed an unfortunate old man be hit THREE times while he waited! Two times, he was hit by the SAME car!!! It happened just after all the scooters that wanted to turn left into the overpass had crossed and were moving into that special rectangle in front of the other waiting vehicles.

Just as everyone had settled in, a car came up that wanted to turn right. But, it was too late. The scooters had already moved into place and there was no room. But the car wanted to go, so it backed up a bit and then made a hard turn to squeeze through. It missed. It pushed an old guy on his scooter forward, and threw him off balance. The old guy grumbled, got off his scooter and started walking backwards with it to to give the guy room to pass. But, the car didn’t even wait till he was finished before screeching forward again and solidly bumping the guy into another scooter, at which point the old man’s scooter escaped his hands and fell down. The car had to back up again because it still didn’t have enough room, but did so like he was on the “Fast and the Furious” and really peeled out. It was all rather shocking; the guy looked like a 40-something businessman, but he drove like a gangster being chased by a rival gang! I thought maybe he was trying to avoid being caught by the cops after hitting the guy, but before I could turn all the way around to see if they were coming, another car came up and hit the old guy a THIRD time as he was picking up his scooter! This time, his scooter skidded further away from him and all his bags went flying into the street.

The last two hits being louder, and affecting others with the flying debris, everyone was now staring at him in shock, a little worried as he got up slower this time. But no one moved to help him gather his things. I thought maybe everyone was just waiting for the people closest to him to move, but then I realized everyone was just waiting for the two traffic cops in the middle of the intersection to come over. With seemingly one mind, all the motorists turned their heads towards the officers. But, the two were heavily engaged in what must have been the telling of a very funny story and had their backs to us. :noway: We couldn’t get their attention. And then, the light turned green…

Everyone sped off. Including myself. :frowning: I know the guy wasn’t terribly hurt and his scooter wasn’t seriously damaged, but I feel terrible. I didn’t help because I was so far away from him, and I was worried I’d get hit if I got off my scooter and walked over to where he was, but…I just feel so bad…It’s such a lonely feeling to be victimized in public and have no one help you.

What is the point of having traffic cops if they don’t enforce the law?

I’m still shaking with anger! :fume:

Once I was in a taxi. We were a bit stuck. Eventually we reached a man busily engaged trying to push his dead car out of the intersection. Two cops were also busily engaged at the side of the road, apparently writing him a ticket, though it could have been a letter to grandma I guess. Me and the taxi driver looked at each other and shook our heads wordlessly.

It cracks me up too, during rush hour to see cops standing in an intersection, where there is a perfectly functioning traffic light, waiving their little red stick or their white gloved hand and blowing their whistle to “direct traffic”, which isn’t paying the least bit of attention to them. The light turns red, the cop blows their whistle and raises their hand or red stick and at least 3 or 4 cars zoom right past. My local friends say it would be even worse if the cops weren’t there, but I dunno.

It also irritates me to no end when traffic cops spend time pulling over scooters to check papers while not doing a damn thing about serious, dangerous moving violations.

They are right. It is easy to violate traffic laws when only a machine is there stopping you. But when a body is there too, it provides a good deterrent. I’ve found that municipalities relay mostly on speed traps and traffic cameras as their sole means of enforcing moving violations. You must remember, if you were speeding, and a cop put on his cherries to pull you over, where would you pull over? And, how dangerous of a maneuver would that be in most instances? So, using pictures, video, and a few speed traps here and there, they can enforce a reasonable number of violations. Give them a break, how much better could you do enforcing traffic in this country?

In regards to the OP. That situation blows, is is the main reason I only drive if I really need to save time. The traffic cops should have been paying attention, but regardless, that is where citizens should come to the rescue. Taiwanese are reluctant to intervene in a situation they don’t fully understand or if they worry they will be of no use or cause more harm. The best thing anyone could have done though, would have been to help the man off the road with his bags and scooter, and make sure someone got the license plate number of the car. Given that information, you’d be surprised how quickly the cops can find someone, and odds are a camera was somewhere to catch the act. Justice would have been served.

My car was (admittedly) illegally parked on a yellow line outside my school, but so was a betel nut chewing orange seller in his blue truck, so erroneously I figured it would be okay there. BIG mistake! After class I found my car towed. Fuckers!


Just one thought about red lights, instead of standing uselessly in the middle and often to the side of an intersection waiving a red stick, I’d set up a very obvious camera stand photographing cars running the red light. Heck, start paying cops a commission on the tickets. When there is actually a consequence for running red lights, people may stop doing it.

I have an issue, not so much with the people who run the light just immediately after it’s turned red (because I have done it too :blush: , and mostly everyone in Taiwan knows not to go right away when the light turns green), but mostly with people who see that the light has gone red, and has been red for a while, but still chose to run the light, blocking traffic and swerving around people with the right away going on a green.

It’s like the attitude is “screw you” i’m in a rush and more important, and safety means nothing.

The traffic cops are good for asking for directions if you get lost…

:eh: How could anyone NOT do better?

You know, most of the people directing traffic isn’t cops, they’re volunteer taxi drivers, that might be why they don’t really give a shit…

The way I see it, there is one rule that cops follow:

It’s only illegal when they say it is.

Theoretically speaking, speeding is illegal. But it’s not because cops won’t chase you or pull you over for it. They have cameras, but everyone knows where they are. Speed in between, slow down in front of the cameras. Hence, not really illegal.

Theoretically speaking, running red lights is illegal, as is turning right on red. However, I’ve seen many many cars turn right AND left on red lights with traffic cops watching. Hence, it’s not illegal.

Theoretically, all scooters are supposed to stop in that little Scooter box on an intersection. But, I have pictures of police on scooters stopped far forward of that little box. Hence, not illegal.

Theoretically, it is always illegal to drive a scooter without a helmet. In fact, this is only illegal on those days/nights when cops set up shop on the side of the road catch people. Figure out their schedule and you’ll be OK.

So, really. Just make friends with some cops and find out when they are enforcing what and you’ll be fine. No big deal, right?