Transport Ministry Back-pedals on Licences for Riders of Electric Bicycles

Taiwan’s Ministry of Transport backed off on plans to introduce licences for riders of electric bicycles starting next year. Thursday, May 19, officials announced that while they will continue with enforcing safety provisions for the vehicle class, they won’t require riders to be tested and licensed.

Academics and industry members have been criticising the move to introduce the licence requirements since the Ministry of Transport announced their plan earlier this month. Critics tend to agree with the need for tighter safety regulations, but believe that requiring a licence creates a disincentive to purchase and use the environmentally friendly form of transport.

Critics said if a licence was required, people would think they might as well ride a motorcycle. While traffic accidents involving injury and fatalities on electric vehicles has increased in recent years, it was pointed out that choosing to ride a motorcycle would put riders at a greater risk.

The ministry will focus on enforcing safety and compliance. Riders of electric bicycles will be required to wear a helmet, and the government will crack-down on people who modify the bicycles by removing the speed limiter. Electric bicycles are limited to a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour, but it is relatively easy to modify them to go faster.

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