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Taiwan to raise penalties for dangerous driving, driving without license

Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act amendment to be implemented by end of year

File photo of police officers issuing a ticket to an individual on a motorcycle.

File photo of police officers issuing a ticket to an individual on a motorcycle. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Cabinet has approved the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ (MOTC) proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act, which focused on penalties for dangerous driving and driving without a license.

Currently, definitions of “dangerous driving” include zigzagging, exceeding the maximum speed limit by 60 kilometers per hour or more, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, forcing other vehicles to give way inappropriately, suddenly breaking or stopping in a non-emergency situation, and removing mufflers. The MOTC has proposed adding making illegal U-turns, driving backwards, and driving against traffic on the freeway to the list of definitions.

The amendment bill also seeks to raise the maximum fine for dangerous driving from NT$24,000 (US$813) to NT$36,000 as well as allow trial courts to order a 50% increase in relevant criminal sentences.

Meanwhile, the maximum fine for driving small vehicles or motorcycles without a license will be doubled from NT$12,000 to become NT$24,000. Those who repeat the offense within five years will be fined the maximum amount, and in the case of severe casualties resulting from a repeated offense, the offender’s vehicle will be confiscated.

Additionally, unlicensed drivers who refuse to stop or flee from an inspection will be subject to fines between NT$15,000 and NT$45,000. Owners of vehicles driven without a license will also face license plate suspension.

Having been reviewed and approved by the Cabinet, the amendment bill will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review and approval.