台灣機車 Taiwan Scooters
Scooters are an integral part of life in Taiwan, they are convenient and economical to run compared to a motor car. Many of my Taiwanese friends, some who drive really nice cars, all have at least one scooter at home. In 2016 there were 21.4m registered vehicles in Taiwan of which 13.6m were motorcycles, that’s a staggering 63% of all vehicles!!! And when you consider that the whole of Taiwan has 23.5m population, that means for every 1.7 Taiwanese, regardless of age, there is 1 motorcycle. Or to put it in an even more exaggerating way, every 3.4 Taiwanese child owns 2 motorcycles!!
機車佔台灣人生活中很重要的一部份，跟汽車比既方便又經濟。我有不少台灣朋友就算開汽車，甚至豪華房車，家中都至少還有一台機車。根據2016的統計，全台有兩千一百四十萬台登記車輛，其中機車就有一千三百六十萬台，佔總登記車輛的 63%!! 台灣有兩千三百五十萬人口，那代表不論男女老少，每 1.7位台灣人就擁有一台機車。或者說得誇張點，每3.4個小孩有兩台機車!!
Almost all foreigners I know in Taiwan have this love hate relationship with scooters, and I know this relationship sometimes even extends to some locals. Here, I want to introduce you to different types of scooter drivers that I often come across. The first are the Dashers. They’re the ones who always make a final dash after the traffic lights have just turned red.
我認識的台灣外籍人士對機車既愛又恨，甚至有些台灣朋友偶而也會有同樣的感覺。 這裡跟大家介紹幾 類不同形的機車車手。 第一類是盲衝派，當交通燈已轉為紅色他們還會繼續往前衝， 務求不用在紅燈前等那一分半分鐘。
The second are the Zoomers. Immediately after the traffic lights have turned green they zoom ahead and turn, totally ignoring pedestrians like me who are about to cross the road.
The third are the Self Proclaimed Invincibles who are my favourite. As soon as they see a bus signalling to pull into the bus stop, they accelerate and squeeze pass between the bus and the kerb. That way they won’t be held up behind the bus in the traffic. I don’t have photos to show you this group drivers as I could get myself killed.
The last group I want to share are the Heavy Weighters. I do sympathise with them as I know they have to make a living, but I hope they can still be more careful.
Many Taiwanese think nothing of these driving habits as they grew up with it, but sadly statistics does show how dangerous it is. According to data from the National Police Agency, in the past decade traffic accidents involving motor cycles have doubled from under 73k in 2007 to 161k in 2015 before dropping slightly in 2016. Over the same period, about half of all traffic accidents in Taiwan involved motor cycles.
台灣朋友可能對這種情境習以為常，畢竟大家在這個 環境中長大。但事實上，根據數據顯示近年機車意外的確在增長。 從警政署提供的資料，機車交通意外從2007年的7萬3千多宗倍增到2015年的16萬1千多宗。而機車則佔總交通意外的一半。
Sometimes I do think that Taiwanese rely a bit on luck when it comes to driving. Taking their scooter to be blessed at the temple is a common ritual by many when they buy a new scooter. And they make sure they keep the blessed lucky charm with them when they drive.
Apparently the average age of a scooter in Taiwan is 10 years old. They become more environmentally unfriendly causing more pollution with ageing mechanics, so when they retire, it’s good to see that they help to keep the air fresh and clean.