More Pedestrian and Bike Accidents Shed Light on Road Safety in Taiwan

kaohsiung traffic deaths
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Traffic accidents have dominated news in Taiwan, as there is a seemingly never-ending supply for the media to cover. Two more accidents on Thursday added to the death toll on the nation’s roads this year.

During the evening rush at around 6 pm in Taoyuan, a woman on a bicycle was run over by a cement truck as it was turning. The woman 23-year-old woman was cycling behind the truck when it cut the corner while turning. The accident occurred at the corner of Neixi Road and Dongxi Road in Luzhu District, Apple Daily reported.

As there are no surveillance cameras in the area, police are relying on the cement truck’s rear-facing video camera that caught the accident, though the video posted online is not clear. In the video, it appears that the woman had been following behind the truck and ran into it as it slowed to turn the corner. Rather than slow down with the truck, the woman attempted to move farther to the side of the road and lost balance. After falling over, she fell head-first beneath the rear tire.

The driver noticed the accident and quickly stopped. Police were called to investigate the cause of the accident and administered a blood alcohol test of the driver that returned negative. The woman’s family claims that large vehicles should not be allowed on the roads as they are too narrow to accommodate such traffic. Authorities noted that vehicles over 30 tons are not allowed on the section of road where the accident occurred, but the cement truck was only 24 tons.

Hours later just outside Xindian MRT station in New Taipei an elderly woman was hit and dragged by a delivery truck while she was crossing the street. The 45-year-old truck driver, who was transporting produce from Hualien, did not notice the woman in the intersection as he drove through a green light, according to Apple Daily.

At 10:09 pm, the 74-year-old woman was crossing the road when the light turned green on Section 1 Beixin Road. She was hit by the right front wheel of the truck and dragged for about 10 meters before the driver heard screams from bystanders and stopped to inspect the problem.

The woman was dead by the time police arrived. Police on the scene administered a blood alcohol test that returned negative. The driver may be charged with a crime following further investigation.

Earlier in the week, two children — one in Taichung and another in Hualien — were killed in traffic accidents as they were crossing the street at crosswalks. In both cases, the drivers did not follow road safety laws. In Taichung the driver sped through a turn as people were crossing. In Hualien, the driver sped up to go through a yellow light to avoid waiting.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung, traffic deaths spiked in the first quarter of the year to 64, more than twice the number in the same period the previous year.

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