Taipei to start enforcing sidewalk cycling laws

It is illegal to bike on sidewalks unless there is a designated bike lane

Taipei City Public Works Department Commissioner Pong Cheng-sheng (彭振聲)(left) and Dept. of Transportation Director Chang Jer-yang (張哲揚) (right) (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taipei will begin cracking down on cyclists who violate traffic laws, particularly riding on sidewalks without a bike lane, the city government said in a notice posted today.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is urging the public to abide by traffic regulations when cycling on sidewalks to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

According to the DOT, bicycles are classified as slow-moving vehicles, and Article 124 of the “Rules on Road Traffic Safety” stipulates that cyclists should keep to the right at all times.

In accordance with Article 90 of the “Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act,” bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks, except when there is a designated bike lane on the sidewalk as set up by authorities.

In the event that “the driver of a slow-moving vehicle fails to yield to pedestrians on walkways indicated by signs or markings to allow slow-moving vehicles to drive, he or she shall be fined from NT$300 (US$9.71) to NT$600,” according to Article 74 of the “Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act.”

In addition, cyclists caught riding under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.03 are subject to a fine of NT$300-600. Refusal to take an intoxication test will result in a fine of NT$1,200. 

In 2014, there were 7,713 bicycle accidents in Taiwan, resulting in 53 deaths and 11,041 injuries, according to the National Police Agency.

The DOT noted that Taipei has implemented sidewalk bike lanes on Nanjing, Songjiang, Fuxing and Xinyi roads, as well as other cycling trails, as part of its bid to create a safe environment for bicycle riders.

Not only should cyclists follow the relevant traffic laws, but they should also take basic safety precautions such as wearing a helmet and using lights at night. 

The city has launched campaigns since January to promote rules and regulations governing bikes across the Taipei’s cycling paths and walkways with designated bike lanes. The campaign includes a video on cycling etiquette that is being aired on screens at department stores, theaters, convenience stores, YouBike stations and libraries. Traffic safety lectures have also been held at communities, schools, health centers and logistics companies.