Friday, October 30, 2009

New proposed biking Traffic laws

News article Here Just another vague article. The same old story (SOS!)


1. The number of cycling deaths has declined from 183 people in 2006 to 141 people last year, the numbers of injured riders are still increasing,”

2. Last year, over nine thousand people were injured in biking accidents. In 2006, the number was about seven thousand

3. The reason for the accidents include riders not following traffic rules, vague traffic concept among teenagers and the lack of bikeways, forcing cyclists to compete for space in motor traffic.

MOTC's action plan:

1. MOTC called on the public to wear helmets while riding bikes, but has not set regulations for people who disobey this rule. Really? when and how? TV, newspaper, have not seen it... Just "calling"?

2. The government will discuss the issue about the punishment for people who don't wear helmets and whether teenagers should need a license for bicycling. Good idea, a license might be to agressive, but MOTC could provide training, bikes and educational material to all schools to get consistent education and make the class mandatory to complete. Just like many countries require swimming mandatory.

3. Requiring cyclists to have lights while riding at night. Fully supported, BUT MOTC should set standards for the bike light, not all bike light are the same, the bike light should shine in a particular angle and with minimum level of brightness. Side-view reflectors are also important. MOTC should sponsor bike light lights to sell at a very low price sold in bike stores for e.g. the 1st year, and set a target date. How about the high amount of batteries that are going to be used? use Dynamo's?

4. Prohibiting carrying passengers who are over four years old or 18 kilograms in weight. MOTC should make kid racks mandatory for carrying small kids and set safety standards for those racks. + sponsor low cost racks during the introduction period

5. banning youngsters under the age of 12 from riding on their own. Ok so over 4 years old cannot ride on their own until they are 12 years old. Well, ALL kids need to go to school in the 5-11 year range, and also agood time for education and learing to ride a bike correctly in traffic while in elementary school.

6. MOTC also appeals to elementary and junior high schools to further promote traffic safety to the students. Good, how is MOTC going to doing that? Appealing is an action-less word, see item 2

But surprisingly just for one item no action was stated: "lack of bikeways, forcing cyclists to compete for space in motor traffic". This is probably the most important issue for increased biking safety. There is a lot of construction work going on, Fu-Xing got a new pavement 2 weeks ago, but no bike lanes, will Hsin-Yi follow the same fate?

Assuming accidents occur in the city, the government is still only looking at recreational bike paths instead of improving the cities for daily bike commuting. (well that has been stated now a hundered times in this blog, it's almost boring..)