TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Over 300 people have been ticketed for not wearing helmets while riding e-bikes in New Taipei City since new traffic laws kicked in on Tuesday (Oct. 1).
Starting on Oct. 1, 15 new traffic regulations went into force in Taiwan. Among the more noteworthy new laws, a fine of NT$300 (US$9.60) will be imposed on those caught riding an e-bike without a helmet.
As the popularity of electric bicycles, or e-bikes, increases in Taiwan, so do the accident rate and related injuries. In addition, some riders have modified their vehicles to exceed their original speed of 25 kilometers per hour by as much as double.
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 license for operation.
In order to safeguard people's lives and maintain order on the roads, the Legislative Yuan's Transportation Committee in April proposed amending the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) to impose fines on riders caught riding an e-bike sans helmet, speeding, or illegally modifying their bikes to increase their maximum speed, reported CNA. The amendment was approved by the Legislative Yuan in May.
Driver being ticketed in Ruifang for not wearing helmet. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)
Under the new regulations, if a person drives an e-bike over 25 kph, they could face a fine of between NT$900 and NT$1,800. If an e-bike rider fails to wear a helmet, they risk a fine of NT$300, and if they refit the vehicles without authorization, they can be slapped with a fine of NT$1,800 to NT$5,400.
Many e-bike riders are still either unaware of the regulation or choosing to ignore it. Since Tuesday, 312 tickets have been issued to e-bike riders in New Taipei City alone, reported UDN.
New Taipei City's Ruifang District has begun enforcing the new law and stepping up efforts to inform the public. On Tuesday, ten e-bike riders had already been ticketed for failing to wear a helmet, according to the report.
Police said that the majority of people riding e-bikes are migrant workers and the elderly. They are asking factory owners and family members to remind e-bike riders to wear helmets when they hit the roads.