CONTROL YUAN, TAIWAN | Traffic casualties on the rise: CY proposes corrective measures to ensure traffic safety

For the last five years, an average of 420 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents each year. The Transportation and Procurement Affairs Committee of the Control Yuan (CY) has approved an investigation report and submitted a corrective action case to the Executive Yuan on 9 April 9 2024.

Members of the Control Yuan have highlighted a concerning trend in the past decade, noting a steady increase in the number of pedestrians killed or injured in traffic accidents, with more than half of these incidents occurring at intersections. Calls for reform to prioritize pedestrian safety have led to public rallies advocating for the restoration of pedestrians’ right of way. Despite proposed measures by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to address this issue, the number of pedestrian casualties has continued to rise by 6.7%, surpassing 400,000 cases. Specifically, the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries at intersections has seen an increase of 4 and 294 individuals, respectively, representing a 3.3% rise. This alarming growth rate underscores the persistent problem of neglecting pedestrian safety and favoring vehicle traffic. Such disregard not only jeopardizes public safety and welfare but also tarnishes Taiwan’s reputation and standing on the global stage.

Since 1968, the law has mandated that vehicles must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Pedestrians have the absolute right of way when crossing the road at a zebra crossing. However, this regulation has unfortunately become mere rhetoric, and efforts to promote traffic safety education have devolved into superficial campaigns filled with clichés. The lack of early introduction to the concept of yielding to pedestrians has led to over 50% of accidents being caused by riders or drivers who are not attentive to their surroundings and fail to prioritize pedestrians. Additionally, a significant 30% of pedestrian fatalities result from jaywalking and other violations, such as not observing oncoming traffic from both directions. To address this issue, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Education should conduct thorough reviews and implement necessary improvements.

The National Police Agency’s implementation of new technological devices at intersections, along with increased inspections, has led to a rise in helmet usage and a decrease in fatalities related to drunk driving annually. In comparison to the corresponding period in 2022, the first half of 2023 has demonstrated a significant decline in casualties. This indicates the importance of the police maintaining their enforcement actions against vehicles that do not yield to pedestrians. Additionally, there is a need to enhance traffic enforcement to deter pedestrians from making unlawful crossings, thereby promoting proper road safety awareness and behavior among the public.


Source: Control Yuan, Taiwan

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