Why do the police "direct traffic" in the mornings?

Is that before or after waiting 6 hours for the light to change? Lights here are the longest and make the least sense that I’ve seen anywhere.


Sometimes the high traffic is a blessing. It stops people from driving too fast. When traffic is light is when people drive at insane speeds.

I bet most fatal accidents is during the night when people feels free to drive too fast.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, they like to lengthen the time sequence in peak periods, often making things extremely unpleasant for pedestrians.


1 Like

One of them mostly is.

They do this in Kaohsiung, but only for illegal right turns (turning on a red). It’s like speed traps on the highway: they hide in blind corners of common spots.

In kaohsiung the roads have predictable lights and such light traffic that you can predict one of two - three Max, but extremely rarely - stop light frequencies you’ll go through on your daily commute. Meaning, I know I’ll get the red at X street, but if not, it’s because they’re using sequence 2, and I’ll get it at Y street instead. Very rarely do I stop at any other street (it goes on in each sequence).

So there are usually lights that people barely make in these sequences, and other intersections where there is a very tempting corner but with the lack of a sidewalk you can’t see very far until you’re right up there.

I’ve seen police camped out at both these kinds of intersections issuing tickets, as well as other spot check points they regularly camp out at where it’s difficult to ditch out if you’ve got something to hide - I’ve even been pulled over by then a couple times at the former. This is a (n effective) money grab, but at least in those cases the police are being useful to the city.

I also see them during evening rush hour sometimes - usually alongside the orange vested volunteers - and even in this case they are useful because they are at the light box controlling the lights in the rare case that the traffic is heavy, or issuing right turn on red light tickets otherwise to fill the time.

The ones in the morning “directing traffic,” I (still) can’t figure out. Seems the consensus is that they’re pretty useless, so why bother?

Is there less crime during the morning commute and they need to justify their budgets? Remnants from the days before stoplights? Punishment for not meeting their quota?

The main functions are to keep the road moving, though recently the traffic wardens have been giving out fines to unhappy drivers which may help traffic in the future. A funny one I saw was a girl riding her motor bike off the highway (MinZhu Road in SingSing District ) on to the walkway, the cop took a photo of her on the sidewalk. She was pissed, talked loud to the cop. He seems hear none of it with a deaf ear and she finally drove off. Be careful in the SingSing district , my friend on her bike got pulled over by a cop, the fine was NT$1,500+. I think (the girl that got the fine will not agree) that rules enforced by them and them being there (out on the road) does help traffic.

I’d be delighted if there was more enforcement.

The number of clowns I see happily zinging through red lights in our lovely capital—with absolutely no accountability—drives me nuts.



Too many officers that need something to do.

In Kaohsiung about 5 years ago, it was common to see a cop try to stop someone for a traffic violation and that person just swerve around the cop and continue on. The cop did nothing. I realized then that the cops really have no power that they are allowed to exercise for traffic stops.

Shooting to kill could help solve that problem.

It may however cause Taiwan’s population decline to plunge even more precipitously. : P


1 Like


You crazy man!

Think of the poor Lao Bai Xing in their Audis and SUVs who are going to be inconvenienced by this !

Actually they’ve been known to chase and shoot cars that don’t stop for them. So it very much depends. But yes usually they do that for checkpoints.


I’ve seen them pull over cars and scooters while directing traffic.

Police directing traffic in the morning, and in rush hour generally, feels typical to most countries to me.

Because the general polutation do not posses the ability for selflessness and safe driving skills. When crashes happen, there is an official witness and, hopefully, a a first responder on scene. Trainees and police that are being punished are often sent to do b*tch work. They complain about it to no end. So my guess is one of those 2 alternatives.

To be fair, taiwan safety on the streets against petty crime, is in large part due to an insanely huge police presence. Arguments can be made in all directions, but at its core, this seems to hold true.

1 Like

Mainly due to insane traffic volume at certain intersections and traffic ‘systems’ that are generally lightly enforced and poor driver education .

But they work well for getting traffic flowing , which is their main function !

I think the header should be changed to ‘rush hour’.

1 Like

There must have been an incident in Neihu recently because the traffic police just showed up here a few weeks ago. I’m guessing they will disappear again when they get bored with it.

1 Like

I had my first traffic accident during rush hour this evening. I was stopped at a red light and a car rear-ended me. It looks like my rear bumper’s going to have to be replaced, so the other driver wanted the police involved so her insurance would cover the damage.

What a palaver! A cop rocked up within about a minute and then called two others to direct traffic (which was now a disaster as we were blocking one of the lanes). Breathalyzing us, taking details, measuring and photographing everything took about 30 minutes.

It only took a minor shunt and total chaos ensued. In the UK we’d have been made to pull our cars over immediately and exchange details there. I guess it’s because of the suing culture here that the police have to be so thorough.

1 Like