High­ways may al­ter­nate us­age to cut jams


Li­cense-plate traf­fic ra­tioning meth­ods could be con­sid­ered and dis­cussed with lo­cal gov­ern­ment, said Na­tional Free­way Bureau (

) yes­ter­day, in re­sponse to crit­i­cisms of Free­way No. 5’s traf­fic jam dur­ing the Tomb Sweep­ing week­end.

The Tomb Sweep­ing week­end had caused se­vere traf­fic con­ges­tion on Free­way No. 5, and re­sulted cit­i­zens blast­ing the gov­ern­ment for lack­ing thor­ough traf­fic plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion.

Deputy Direc­tor-Gen­eral of Na­tional Free­way Bureau Wu Mu-fu ( ) said while Free­way No. 5 cur­rently em­ploys high oc­cu­pancy traf­fic man­age­ment dur­ing week­ends, the min­istry has also con­sid­ered an odd-even num­bered li­cense plate traf­fic flow ra­tioning method to re­solve traf­fic prob­lems.

Wu ex­plained that fur­ther dis­cus­sion with lo­cal gov­ern­ments would be re­quired, in con­sid­er­a­tion of the lo­cal cit­i­zens’ rights. Com­pared to other meth­ods, the li­cense plate ra­tioning in­volves higher reg­u­la­tion in­ten­sity, said Wu.

“We will def­i­nitely dis­cuss the method with the Yi­lan gov­ern­ment be­fore im­ple­ment­ing the traf­fic ra­tioning plan. It’s too early to be cer­tain, as th­ese are ideas in its early stages.” Wu said.

E-Tag Scan­ning Points

The min­istry plans to set up E-Tag scan­ning points at Yi­lan’s main roads to un­der­stand where­abouts of ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing Yi­lan through Free­way No. 5, cit­i­zens’ tour­ing habits, thus plan­ning a more at­trac­tive public trans­porta­tion sys­tem.

Wu also pointed out that E-Tag scan­ning in­fra­struc­ture have al­ready been set up at cer­tain points of ac­cess roads and in­ter­changes in Yi­lan, mainly used to scan E-Tag num­bers and an­a­lyze traf­fic flow.

The min­istry re­as­sures cit­i­zens that E-Tag scan­ning will not store li­cense plate num­bers for il­le­gal pur­poses.

“We aim to use the E-Tag scan­ning sys­tem to help an­a­lyze traf­fic flow onto high­ways, as 80 per­cent of ve­hi­cles al­ready have in­stalled

E-Tags,” Wu said.

Shut­tle Bus Sys­tem in Yi­lan

In re­cent years, the min­istry has found it dif­fi­cult to push for­ward the shut­tle bus sys­tem in­fra­struc­ture in Yi­lan, point­ing out that the bus in­dus­try main­tains a pas­sive at­ti­tude to­wards a busi­ness limited to week­ends only.

Wu said the planned con­cen­trated shut­tle bus sys­tem will be used to pro­vide trans­porta­tion to popular tourist at­trac­tions in Yi­lan. Cit­i­zens are more likely to choose public trans­porta­tion over driv­ing once more shut­tle bus stops are set up.

“Tak­ing public trans­porta­tion to Yi­lan would be a rec­om­mended choice once a more com­pleted shut­tle bus sys­tem is pro­vided” ex- plained Wu.

The min­istry is tak­ing a pro­gres­sive ap­proach in im­ple­ment­ing trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture, Wu said, cit­ing that each trans­porta­tion strat­egy should be an­a­lyzed upon its cir­cum­stances.

Tech­nol­ogy En­force­ment in

Testing Phase

Hsuehshan ( ) Tun­nel also faced se­ri­ous traf­fic jam dur­ing the hol­i­days, due to im­ple­ment­ing tech­nol­ogy as law en­force­ment meth­ods.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of tech­nol­ogy en­force­ment means driv­ers will be pe­nal­ized for not abid­ing by reg­u­lated driv­ing dis­tance. It re­sulted in se­vere traf­fic con­ges­tions in some parts of the Hsuehshan Tun­nel, with sev­eral driv­ers dis­tanc­ing their ve­hi­cles up over a hun­dred me­ters in fear of be­com­ing fined.

In re­sponse to leg­is­la­tors blast­ing the tech­nol­ogy en­force­ment method, Wu pointed out the en­force­ment was set up by the Na­tional High­way Po­lice Bureau ( ). It is still in the testing phase and aims to re­place la­bor law en­force­ment at the end of the year.

Wu re­as­sures driv­ers that the tech­nol­ogy en­force­ment sys­tem will not pe­nal­ize short driv­ing dis­tances dur­ing traf­fic jams.

“Whether it is tech­nol­ogy or la­bor law en­force­ment, penal­ties will still be dished out to vi­o­la­tors,” Wu said, fur­ther em­pha­siz­ing that the min­istry pri­or­i­tizes long-dis­tance tun­nel safety mea­sures above all.

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