Man Proves Fallibility of Highway Seat Belt Monitoring

seat belt
Photo by Jusmar via Wikimedia Commons

After receiving a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, a man surnamed Chiang (姜) set out to prove that the photographic evidence against him was not conclusive enough to warrant a fine.

Chiang was fined when caught on camera in April while driving south on National Highway No. 1. He later received a fine for NT$3000 (US$99) for not wearing a seat belt while driving, Apple Daily reported.

Chiang’s argument against the fine was that the seat belt was the same color as his shirt, so the camera could not properly distinguish between them. To prove his argument, Chiang had photos taken on the same stretch of highway on June 9 between 5:30 and 6:00 pm.

He filed his appeal with the New Taipei District Court. The New Taipei Transportation Department argued that officers are trained to distinguish whether drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts, even in the case of similar colors obscuring the view.

The judge, however, agreed with Chiang and eliminated the fine.

Taiwan implemented a law requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts in 2001, and it expanded the law to include rear passengers in 2011. Fines for failure to wear a seat belt range from NT$1500 to NT$6000 on city streets and NT$3000-6000 on highways. Drivers can also be fined for carrying passengers who do not wear seat belts.

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