Foreign journalist’s tweet leads to crackdown on riding scooters on sidewalks in Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung City police handed out more than 400 tickets to people riding their motor scooters on the sidewalk yesterday after a Polish journalist who resides in the city complained about the problem on Twitter.

On Monday morning, March 7, Aviation business correspondent Tomasz Śniedziewski tweeted:

“I don’t like to use Twitter to complain but really, the plague of scooter racing on #Kaohsiung pavements is seriously wrong and I wish @KaohsiungCity finally noticed and addressed the problem.”

Śniedziewski uploaded a video to accompany the tweet. The video showed a scooter rider riding on the sidewalk at a speed so fast that his front wheel goes airborne on a kerb ramp. Śniedziewski also noted that scooter riders on the sidewalk even honked for pedestrians to give way.

Original tweet by Tomasz Śniedziewski

And the Kaohsiung City Government actually did notice. Earlier this week, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said that he had seen the video, and requested that police crackdown on scooter riders violating traffic regulations by riding on the sidewalk.

Yesterday, Thursday, March 10, police handed out 427 tickets to scooter riders riding on the sidewalk and the traffic police brigade of the Kaohsiung City Police Bureau said that they will continue to enforce the law to protect the rights and interests of pedestrians.

Violators may be fined NT$600 to NT$1,800 in accordance with Article 45 of the Road Traffic Management Penalty Regulations, police said.

The story has been widely reported in Taiwan’s local Chinese language media, both in print and on television.

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