Legislators yesterday called for average speed control systems to be suspended, as no standards have been established to ensure the accuracy of data collected in the technique to capture vehicle velocities.
The system, a “point-to-point” speed measurement, calculates average speed using the times at which a vehicle passes two recording devices and the distance between the devices.
However, the Changhua County Police Department last month canceled 3,627 speeding tickets issued on a section of the Sibin Expressway (Highway No. 61) due to errors in the system. Since then, eight of the nine cities and counties that have such systems in place have suspended their use.
Photo: Tang Shih-ming, Taipei Times
New Taipei City is still running such systems in the Wanli Tunnel (萬里隧道), on the Beiyi Highway, on Expressway No. 64 and on Huanhe Road in Sindian District (新店).
The city has said that the system deters speeding.
At a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee yesterday, members asked the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to discuss with local government officials about the possibility of ordering a suspension of the systems.
They proposed amending the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) to require law enforcement officials to collect evidence of speeding using equipment inspected and certified by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Weights.
The bureau said it would take a year to research and set certification standards for such devices, prompting legislators to ask the government to suspend the average speed control systems and cancel speeding tickets issued from them.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) said that drivers would question the validity of a fine if the government used uncertified and error-prone equipment to collect evidence of speeding.
Motorists are fined NT$1,200 to NT$2,400 for speeding, with office workers and working-class people affected the most, Lee said, adding that such people are too busy to appeal fines.
Police issued 94,984 tickets from July 2018 to March using data from average speed control system, less than 3 percent of the tickets issued during that period, Lee said.
Nevertheless, the credibility of law enforcement officials is in question, as the standards they use to penalize people are not rigorous, he said.
New Power Party caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said that Taiwan is a nation under the rule of the law, so the government should restrict the rights of the people only on the basis of law.
Moreover, people should have the right to contest those restrictions, Chiu said.
The devices should be certified and the government should not use the system to try to curb speeding until that happens, he said.
DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) said that the devices do not synchronize with a standard time at the same intervals, varying from every minute to every 15 minutes.
The lack of certification standards has invalidated tickets issued through the system, Kao said.
As such, all the tickets should be canceled to ensure the fairness and justice, she said.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that the ministry hopes to address the problem by having the devices certified by an independent agency.
All of the devices would synchronize with standard time at the same interval, Wang said.
The National Policy Agency said that average speed control systems have reduced speeding cases in New Taipei City by 90 percent.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生), who presided over the meeting, said that the proposed amendment would be reserved for further discussions due to disagreements between lawmakers and government officials.
However, lawmakers passed a resolution that asks the ministry to discuss with local government officials about suspending use of the systems.
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