Transportation minister eyes improved traffic safety in new year

Transportation Minister Ho Chen Tan (???) said Tuesday that safety on the roads will be one of his major priorities this year, and his goal is to reduce traffic fatality rates by 15 percent over the next three years.

At a news conference to mark the new year, Ho Chen noted that the ministry set the goal a month ago to reduce traffic fatalities to below 2,500 a year from the current 3,000.

Also, as many of the deaths involve people aged 18 to 24, causing a "great loss" to the nation and the economy, the ministry hopes to reduce -- over a course of three years -- the traffic fatalities in this age group to 250 a year from the current number of 400 per year, Ho Chen said.

In addition, the ministry will push for zero tolerance to driving under the influence of alcohol, he said.

Although fatalities in Taiwan caused by drunk driving have dropped in recent years, there is room for improvement when compared with neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea, Ho Chen said.

Drunk driving takes place most often around the Chinese New Year, according to National Police Agency data, and deaths from drunk driving peak between December and March.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel