Taiwan's new e-bike helmet law to impact foreign commuters

Riders who do not wear helmets while riding e-bikes could face NT$300 fine

  5202
Scene of accident. (Photo from Hemei Township Police Department)

Scene of accident. (Photo from Hemei Township Police Department)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In an effort to better regulate electric bicycles and address the rise in injuries and deaths from the vehicles, the Legislature on Monday (April 29) passed a preliminary review of an amendment that would levy an NT$300 (US$9.69) fine on riders for not wearing a helmet, as well as stiff fines for unauthorized modification of the bikes.

As the popularity of electric bicycles, or e-bikes, is on the rise in Taiwan, so has the accident rate and injuries. In addition, some riders have modified their vehicles to exceed their originally designed speed of 25 kilometers per hour to up to 50 kilometers per hour.

In order to safeguard people's lives and to maintain order on the roads, the Legislative Yuan's Transportation Committee provided preliminary approval to amend the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) to impose fines for those riders caught riding an e-bike without a helmet, speeding, and illegally modifying their bikes to increase their maximum speed, reported CNA.

In recent years, e-bikes have become popular among foreign migrant workers because they are cheap and easy to repair, reported UDN. They have also become popular among tourists and high school students, because they do not require a license for ownership or a driver's licenses for operation.

The proposed amendment calls for a fine of NT$300 to be levied on those caught riding an e-bike without a helmet. Riders who are caught exceeding the 25 kilometers per hour speed limit for e-bikes will face a fine of between NT$900 and NT$1,800.

Owners of e-bikes who have been found to have modified their vehicle without permission, will face a fine of between NT$1,800 and NT$5,400.

In addition, under the new amendment, drivers over the age of 18 will be allowed to attach approved seats for children to their e-bikes. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs regulations, a seat for children between the ages of one and four-years-old and weigh less than 15 kg can be placed on the front, while a seat for children between the ages of one and six-years-old can and weigh less than 22 kg can be placed on the back.

Under the proposed guidelines, a driver who violates these regulations for carrying children on e-bikes will face a fine of between NT$300 and NT$600.