Automated law-enforcement system in Hsuehshan Tunnel to be launched

Taipei-An automated law-enforcement system installed in the Hsuehshan Tunnel on Freeway No. 5 will be formally inaugurated on June 15, targeting vehicles that are speeding, traveling below the minimum speed limit of 70 kilometers per hour, or changing lanes in the tunnel, freeway authorities said Monday.

The system in the 12.9 kilometer-long tunnel connecting Taipei and Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan, is expected to effectively stem violations by motorists and reduce traffic accidents, according to officials of the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.

The officials expressed high expectations of the system's ability to nail motorists who drive below the minimum speed limit under normal traffic conditions. They said cracking down on speed limit violations will help improve traffic safety and efficiency in the tunnel.

Hsuehshan Tunnel, the key part of Freeway No. 5, has long been blamed as the culprit of notorious traffic congestion on the freeway. The congestion is most common on weekends when people travel from metropolitan areas in the west to Yilan, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taiwan.

Some have blamed slow driving in the tunnel for worsening the problem, prompting an increase in the minimum speed there from 60 kph to 70 kph on March 10, with a one-month grace period so that drivers could adapt to the new rule.

A crackdown on the new minimum speed began on April 14, with each of the violating drivers having to pay a fine of between NT$3,000 (US$99) and NT$6,000.

Those driving at speeds over the speed limit of 90 kph or changing lanes in the tunnel will also be punished with a similar fine, according to the bureau.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel