139 riders fined since crackdown on sidewalk cyclists in Taipei began

Cyclists riding on Taipei's sidewalks no longer able to outrun the long arm of the law with over 100 tickets issued so far

Cyclist receiving a ticket. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Since Taipei's new crackdown on cyclists riding outside of designated lanes on city's sidewalks began on July 17, 139 tickets have been issued.

The Taipei City Department of Transportation (DOT) Thursday announced that in addition to the 139 traffic tickets, 719 verbal warnings were issued as well.

DOT Commissioner Chang Jer-yang (張哲揚) told the media that cyclists are generally left off with a verbal warning, unless they endanger pedestrians. Ultimately, the final call whether to issue a ticket is made by the officer on the spot based on the situation, Chang added. 

Traffic police will primarily be enforcing the new measure on Xinyi Road, Ren'ai Road, Xinsheng South Road and Roosevelt Road, where the network of bike lines have been completed. The DOT said that the enforcement of this law will be expanded over time as more bike lines are added to more roads.

Thus far, the city has completed 85.76 kilometers of "separated pedestrian and bicycle lanes," 303.91 kilometers of "shared pedestrian and bicycle lanes," and a 389.67 kilometer network for bicycles have been completed, according to the DOT.

The DOT said the new measures were devised to promote cycling etiquette as Taipei's residents have increasingly turned toward the use of YouBikes, oBikes, and privately owned bicycles in recent years. Bicycles are now used for 5.1% of journeys in Taipei, according to data from the DOT. 

In addition to not cycling on arcades or non-designed bike lanes on the sidewalk, when riding on sidewalks, cyclists should yield to pedestrians and riders should walk their bicycles when encountering arcades to respect pedestrians and establish a concept of friendly riding, said the DOT. 

Also, beginning on January 1 of next year, bicycles which have been parked illegally will be towed away. 

Meanwhile, there has been no mention of new campaigns to enforce traffic laws on Taiwan's massive fleet of 13.66 million smog-spewing scooters, other than a possible ban on two-stroke motorbikes by 2020.