Warning to motorcyclists


#1

Hi all,

Just a quick warning to anyone who rides a moped/scooter/whatever. During morning rush hour I was stopped at a red light with about 30-40 other scooters, when the cop that was at the intersection walked through all the other scooters to have me pull over and show him my ID, license, registration, etc (this was before the crackdown on insurance started on 9/1). I asked if I had done something wrong; he said not at all – he basically pulled me over because I was not of Asian descent. I’m not trying to get into racism or racial profiling here, I’m just warning you guys to be aware. Maybe get those tinted visors so that can’t see as easily if you’re a foreigner. I have a friend who said that both he and his other friend got pulled over as well in separate incidents, possibly by the same guy (the cop kept replying to me in English even though I kept speaking to him in very ‘standard’ Mandarin). All these were intersections along JiLong (Keelong or whatever) Road, between HePing and RenAi Roads.

Anyways, I got a $6000 fine for not having a license, even though I have an international license for cars (and one for motorcycles that unfortunately expired). I understand that I have to know the laws of the land and heed them, so I’m not complaining about being fined… even though the head guy at the DMV did not know if I should have gotten a ticket or not (he doesn’t understand how int’l licenses work in Taiwan either); unfortunately for me he didn’t care, so I ended up having to pay anyways.

I went and got a local license (which I was planning on doing last month, but just never got around to it… damned laziness! My mom always said I’d pay for it…). It was laughably easy, and I suggest you all do it if you haven’t already (there’s an old thread about what it includes and how to prepare for it).

Ok, so a not-so-quick warning…


#2

Damn, cops here are actually asking people of non-Asian descent to have licenses now? And pulling them over, and actually fining them if they don’t? That’s amazing! There’s hope for this place yet.


#3

I agree! :smiley:

Just hope the don’t specifically target any one racial group, and figure out (and clearly post!) some rules for foreigners and licenses. But that may be me being a bit optomistic at this point.

Go get your licenses guys!
(btw, if you don’t have an ARC or above, you can’t get a local license)


#4

That’s a sorry state of affairs. Long gone are the days then of riding about licence-free on your unregistered scooter, sans helmet, safe in the knowledge a nod and a wink to the (un)arresting officer will do the trick. “Yes I know I’m a bit pissed, but I’ll take it easy Officer” / “Be on your way son” he would reply, “and have a nice day, for it is 1992 and there are not yet any laws for you to break”

The Halcyon Days. Gone, it would seem, but not forgotten.


#5

Well, that really sucks. That was one of the draws of being a foreigner in Taiwan.


#6

Ah, the sound of the colonial expatriate mindset. I wonder if white people in South Africa were saying similar things when they heard about the coming end of apartheid.

opens traffic ticket, sees nice picture of his motorcycle illegally parked

Oops. On the other hand…


#7

Laws, providing protection of the weak against the poor… Not here! I saw the program on a local station yesterday. It was this journalist paying visits to a few police stations asking about the cast and motorbikes parked ilegally around the station. those cars were never towed, as they belonged to the police officers, their friends, family etc. Sometimes the journalist managed to get them to move them, other times the boys in blue tried to get rid of her one way or another.

One young guy was quoted as saying that the police here are gangsters with badges. :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

Now they are cracking down on foreigners, they just need to start doing the same thing on themselves. :wink:

when the police start acting like “normal” law enforcement, then you can say that there is hope for this place.