Scooters biggest killers of university students in Taiwan

48 people have been killed in incidents involving scooters in Hsinchu alone this year

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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) — According to statistics released by National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), 85 percent of road traffic accidents in Taiwan involve scooters, and fifty percent of scooter incidents are caused by young people.

UDN reports that scooters have become the biggest killers of university students. Taichung (台中) and Hsinchu (新竹) authorities, alongside numerous local governments across the island, are looking at ways to reduce casualty rates among young scooter drivers.

NCTU Department of Transportation and Logistics professor Wu Jong-shou (吳宗修) said parents often gift their children scooters as a reward for gaining university admission, but facing a new environment in a different city with limited motor skills means a huge number become involved in accidents. A disproportionate amount of those killed in road traffic accidents in recent years have been university freshmen, he added.

As of November 2018, 48 people have been killed in Hsinchu County due to road traffic accidents. More than 30 percent were aged between 18 and 24.

Of the 11,423 people injured, 70 percent were involved in scooter-related incidents. 1183 more people in the county have been injured by scooters this year so far compared with last year.

Representative of Hsinchu County Tourism Bureau Chang Tai-chih (長戴志) said analysis is being carried out on accident hotspots in the region and statistics gathered will be used to inform new safety measures.

Taichung City Government Bureau of Transportation said it is currently busy marking roads with diversion signs to stem traffic flow away from busy areas in order to avoid accidents. Reducing accidents involving young people is a top priority, representatives said, so the government is trying to make sure buses stick to specially designated lanes to avoid clashes.