Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crazy Laws Deserve to be Flouted

Was very suprised today by a story on the front page of the Taipei Times:

Novel devices pose legal conundrums

NOT ENFORCED: Your bike’s child safety seat might have a quality guarantee, but that does not alter that using it is illegal. However, the police seem not to care.

According to the Road Traffic Security Rules (道路交通安全規則), bicycles are barred from carrying passengers, and violators could face a fine of between NT$300 and NT$600, an official with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ Department of Railways and Highways said. However, in practice the police do not ticket violators and the public flouts the rules.

In the meantime, large numbers of parents continue to take their children to school or on outings in the safety seat, and are no doubt reassured that the seat has cleared a quality inspection.

Lin said that installing child safety seats on bikes is against regulations, but is mostly considered a trivial offense and is not reported. Violators usually only receive a warning instead of being fined, he said.

I found the tone of this article quite offensive, with its underlying assumption that people who choose to transport their children on bicycles are violators who flout the law and only recieve warnings instead of being fined. Statements like Not Enforced and however, the police seem not to care are written as a condemnation of police that are being negligent in their duties.

At no point in the article does it ever question whether or not this is a reasonable law that needs to be enforced! And since when is a child seat on a bicycle a Novel Device?

Teaching my son how to flout the law on a trip to Cijin island.

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