Taipei inaugurates first motorbike practice ground

Obtaining a license for riding motorcycles in Taiwan has been made more difficult to boost traffic safety

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Venue for practice riding a motorcycle in Shilin (Photo/Department of Transportation)

Venue for practice riding a motorcycle in Shilin (Photo/Department of Transportation)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The first practice ground for motorcycle riding in Taipei was inaugurated Jan. 10 near a riverbank parking lot on Tonghe West Street Section 1 (通河西街1段) in Shilin District, sparing residents the hassle of going all the way to New Taipei for practice before they can obtain a license from the Taipei City Motor Vehicles Office.

Individuals acquiring a motorbike license in Taiwan are required to pass an exam with four additional maneuvers starting Jun. 1, 2016, as a measure to help bring down the number of motorist-involved traffic incidents and casualties. The added tests, which make the exam more difficult, are a hook turn, changing lanes, a 90-degree turn, and a stop-and-go test.

The venue was adopted in response to questioning by a number of city councilors last year who brought up the issue of a lack in practice venues for would-be motorists in Taipei, the only one without such facilities among the country’s six special municipalities, reported ETtoday.

Those who wish to access the venue are reminded to wear a helmet when practicing riding a motorcycle and should be accompanied by people with a license. With limited availability of land in the capital city, the government will assess the need to open more practice grounds in the future, according to the Department of Transportation.

Youths aged 18 or older are also encouraged to take part in the “Safe Riding Motorcycle Program” rolled out by Taipei, which provides motorbike riding training and grants a subsidy of NT$1,000 for those who successfully obtain a license. There are 300 openings for this year.