Car drivers who use hand-held mobile phones or tablet computers while driving will be fined NT$3,000 (S$130), and motorcyclists NT$1,000 in the near future, according to an amendment to a road traffic safety regulation passed by the Legislative Yuan, yesterday.
The amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Punishment Code will see drivers using mobile phones, computers or similar devices fined NT$3,000.
Those who fumble with such smart gadgets while waiting at red lights are also subject to the code and will be fined similarly, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Deputy Minister Yeh Kuang-shih said.
Under the amendment, those who wish to answer phone calls either need to use headsets or park their vehicles first.
While the Legislature cleared the amendment, lawmakers voiced concerns about the new regulation's enforceability. The MOTC replied that its plans to reach a more practical approach, which could include sporadic inspections.
Another amendment cleared by the Legislature raised fines for car drivers who race past level crossings from NT$6,000 and NT$12,000 to between NT$15,000 and NT$60,000.
The MOTC said the current plan is to pass supplementary amendments by early September, after which the announcement of the implementation date of the amended Road Traffic Code will be up to the Executive Yuan.