Over the past three years there have been 241 traffic accidents involving garbage trucks in Taipei, and only six of those accidents were cited as no fault.
In all, about 98% of traffic accidents in Taipei involving sanitation vehicles over the three-year period were the fault of the garbage truck. There were also two accidents during the period involving drunk drivers, UDN reported.
During a council meeting yesterday, Taipei City Councilor Pan Huai-tsung (潘懷宗) said that since 2013 there were 304 traffic violations involving garbage trucks in the city, of which 99 were speeding violations. Pan noted that there were 78 incidents recorded in 2013 and 96 incidents last year. There were 67 incidents recorded between January and the end of September this year, resulting in two deaths and 38 injuries.
The causes of the accidents are related to drivers not paying attention, not looking for other vehicles or pedestrians when backing up, and not maintaining a safe driving distance.
The Taipei Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also said that public complaints about garbage trucks have increased, with the top three complaints being 52 related to traffic violations, 29 related to the odor, and 22 related to the music volume.
The DEP noted that all sanitation workers must pass a breathalyzer test before starting their shift. The agency has also requested workers attend seminars related to speeding and safe driving habits.
There are currently 1027 sanitation vehicles in Taipei with an average age of 10.5 years, with the oldest being 24 years old. Pan said that the DEP should speed up the replacement rate to improve traffic safety.