ABS brakes to be mandatory on Taiwan's scooters in 2019

Anti-lock braking system to be mandatory on new scooters manufactured in Taiwan starting in 2019

Scooters are the preferred method of transportation among many students (amariswoo/Instagram)

Scooters are the preferred method of transportation among many students (amariswoo/Instagram)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Beginning New Year's Day in 2019, all scooters built in Taiwan will be required to be installed with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), which could translate into a increase in price of up to NT$8,000, reported UDN.

In order to enhance traffic safety, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has amended the Vehicle Safety Testing Directions (車輛安全檢測基準) to specify that, as of New Year's Day 2019, new scooters with 125 cc engines or smaller should be equipped with an ABS or combined braking system (CBS), and scooters with motors that are 126 cc or larger must have ABS installed. Once the new systems are installed, the price of scooters will rise by as much as NT$7,000 (US$226) to NT$8,000 (US$259).

MOTC Department of Railways and Highways section chief Michael Chao (趙晉緯) said the ministry followed a precedent set by EU regulations when it amended Vehicle Safety Testing Regulations to require scooters that have engines that are 126 cc and above be installed with ABS. However, scooters with engines that are 125 cc or less, must either have ABS or CBS installed, as the horsepower is not as powerful and speed not as rapid as the larger scooters, said Chao.

The new regulations will apply to scooters that are produced in factories as of Jan. 1, 2019, but will not affect vehicles that are already on the road. Old models of scooters still being manufactured have until 2021 to include ABS systems.

Scooter without ABS (above), vehicle with ABS (below). (Image from Automotive and Research Testing Center)

MOTC said that after ABS and CBS became required on scooters in the EU and Japan in 2016 and 2017, respectively, fatalities and injuries were reduced by 30 percent. Therefore, based on statistics on scooter accidents involving rollovers and falls in 2012, that would translate into 23 fewer deaths and 4,481 injuries per year.

Generally, when a scooter driver encounters an emergency situation, they usually hit the brakes very hard due to nervousness, but this often results in the brakes locking up and the vehicle skidding due to the excessive braking force. ABS systems can usually be activated as long as the speed exceeds 10 kilometers per hour, to prevent the tires from locking and the scooter from overturning.

When a CBS system has been installed, regardless of whether a scooter driver hits the breaks on the front or rear wheel, the system will compensate by applying pressure evenly on both wheels, to avoid skidding and the loss of balance that would have occurred when the brakes on only one wheel had been applied.

After the new law goes into effect, the cost of the new systems are expected to be transferred to the sticker price for new scooters. According to the MOTC, the increased cost of adding ABS or CBS will vary according to the number of scooters produced and the rate of increase by each manufacturer will be different.

Standard ABS is more expensive, while CBS is cheaper. Based on market rates, it is estimated that the maximum price increase for ABS installation will be NT$7,000 to NT$8,000, while CBS is estimated to increase the cost of scooters by NT$3,000.