Taiwan mayor tells parking office to 'watch out' if violations remain high

Taiwan mayor tells parking office to 'watch out' if violations remain high
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je was noticeably upset yesterday at his first Taipei City Traffic Report Meeting.

The mayor was extremely displeased by the report from the city's Parking Management and Development Office, since it displayed a high number of civilian complaints about illegal parking, especially in the most popular areas where more felonies tend to happen.

According to the parking office's report, 60 to 70 per cent of documented violations in seven of the 10 violation hotspots were the result of active civilian complaints. Among the 10 areas, 158 Fuxing South Road Section 1 was ranked number one in parking negligence. Reportedly, the area recorded 143 counts of parking misdemeanour in November of last year and 233 counts in December.

Parking Management and Development Office Director Chang Che-yang went on to elaborate on the report, stating that the high numbers likely resulted from the amount of parking requirements pertaining to the area as well as active civilian reports.

The parking office will conduct investigations in the area, Chang said, to decide whether to change restricted parking zones into temporary parking zones and if the instalment of parking directions is necessary.

Ko Angered by High Violation Numbers

Upon hearing the report, Ko was noticeably displeased with the high numbers, and he was quoted as saying, "As there are too many cameras around us, I cannot fully deliver what I wish to convey."

Ko said that the city should not have to receive 100-200 complaints from civilians, as it is the city's job to ensure a high quality of life for the general public.

The mayor went on to ask the parking office staff if he will see a decrease in violations for January. After receiving no clear response, the mayor said, "If I see numbers that resemble the ones I see now next month, you should all watch out."

Ko also criticised the parking violators' negligence toward traffic regulations, condemning the individuals for showing no respect for the laws of the country.

The Taipei City Department of Transportation Commissioner Chung Hui-yu later stated that her department will find a solution with Taipei City Police Department's Traffic Division, as the current policy is to give warnings instead of writing tickets to violators. However, in light of the numbers, policy enforcement could be stricter in the future, Chung said.

Initially, the entire meeting was to be conducted behind closed doors. However, following media protests that the meeting had always been public since President Ma Ying-jeou's mayoral administration, pointing out that secrecy is in violation of Ko's open government pact, local press were eventually included in the meeting.

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