TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) on Facebook on Wednesday (May 29) announced that a draft amendment to the State Compensation Law (國家賠償法) calls for the government to provide appropriate warning signs in dangerous areas of wilderness, while absolving it from any liability for injuries or deaths which occur in those areas.
In a post titled, "Goodbye to Mama's boy country!" Chang announced that an inter-ministerial meeting held on Wednesday adopted a draft amendment to Article 6 of the State Compensation Law. In the future, those who take part in outdoor activities in mountainous areas and in bodies of water with inherent risks, such as mountaineering, rock climbing, river tracing, fishing, and water sports, must strengthen their knowledge, experience, skills, and awareness of surroundings, and organize groups of companions to cope with potential dangers.
Chang wrote that after the amendment becomes law, the government will no longer be liable for personal injuries suffered while members of the public engage in risky outdoor activities. The government will, however, be required to post appropriate warnings and signs where these activities take place.
Chang claimed that the amendment removes the "curse" of state compensation and ended the conservative attitude of administrative organs of banning visitors from mountains and bodies of water. He wrote that this would "make the next generation of citizens active, enterprising, adventurous, and self-responsible."
The draft amendment to Article 6 of the State Compensation Law stipulates:
"The State shall be liable for damages if public facilities set up or managed by the State cause damage to people's lives, bodies, or property. However, if such facilities have proper warnings or markings, and people still engage in risky or dangerous activities, the State's liability for compensation may be mitigated or exempted."
The draft will be sent to the Cabinet for approval and then to the Legislative Yuan for consideration.
The government has been mulling a change to regulations regarding activity in Taiwan's mountains since the self-described "bikini climber" GiGi Wu (吳季芸) died from injuries sustained from a fall in Nantou County on January 21 of this year. Wu had fallen down a ravine while hiking the Batongguan Historic Trail in Taiwan's Yushan national park without a permit.
Following three failed attempts to reach Wu’s body due to adverse weather conditions over the course of two days, her body was retrieved and airlifted by a UH-60 Black Hawk operated by the National Airborne Service Corps, after the weather cleared on Jan. 23.
Chang's Facebook post announcing the new amendment: