Getting involved in traffic accidents has become a “hidden occupational hazard” for Taichung city councilors, with three councilors having been involved in accidents over the past six months, a source said on Sunday.
Councilors on average attend 20 events around the city each day, and as many as 30 events a day during busier periods, the source said, but added that they are still being criticized for “not caring enough about grassroots supporters.”
“They are trying to take on everything to appease the city’s residents and they end up in traffic accidents from rushing around. This has become a hidden occupational hazard for them,” the source said.
On Dec. 15 last year, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Chang Yu-yen (張玉嬿) had a scooter accident on the way to attend an event for the city, which left her hospitalized for several days with fractured bones.
On April 24, DPP Taichung City Councilor Yang Tien-chung (楊典忠) was struck from behind while waiting at a red light on his scooter.
The accident left him with an injury to his lower back.
On Sunday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taichung Deputy Council Speaker Yan Li-min’s (顏莉敏) vehicle was struck while passing through an intersection in the city’s Cingshuei District (清水).
USING A CANE
Chang has returned to her councilor duties, but needs to use a cane, while Yang has to wear a brace for his back, the source said.
“Sometimes the councilors are so busy they must send an assistant to one event while they attend another, but then supporters express disappointment that the councilor sent someone in their place,” the source added.
Councilors across party lines have shown solidarity over the issue, the source said.
“Councilors must stay safe when they are out there in the city. They should leave as early in the day as possible to gain some time,” KMT Taichung City Councilor Chen Cheng-hsien (陳政顯) said.
DPP Taichung City Councilor Chiang Chao-kuo (江肇國) echoed the need for good time management.
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