The decrease of A1 traffic accidents (fatalities within 24 hours of accidents) in Kaohsiung City year-by-year was praised by the central government. When attending the Traffic Safety Supervision Meeting (TSSM), Mayor Chen Chu reported that the number of A1 accident fatalities in Kaohsiung City has gone down from 251 people in 2011, the year when the city and county merged, to 164 people in 2016, a 34% reduction and a year-by-year decrease. She urged the city government teams to work together and bring down the number of accidents to as low as possible this year (2017).
The monthly Kaohsiung City TSSM was held on February 22. During the meeting, Mayor Chen stated that the city government’s traffic safety teams continued their efforts to reduce the number of A1 accident fatalities to 164 people in 2016, 11 people fewer than in 2015 and a 6.3% decrease. It was even lower than the expected target of 168 people.
Mayor Chen said that in 2016 the highest figure of A1 accident fatalities among the six metropolises was 178. Kaohsiung City was no longer the highest record holder among the six metropolises. The city government teams’ efforts deserved encouragement. In coordination with the advanced traffic safety target set by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the number of A1 accident fatalities in Kaohsiung City in 2017 should reduce 4% more from 2016 (164) to 157 or below, in accordance to the MOTC’s requirements.
Mayor Chen emphasized that fatal car accidents are intolerable. To build a safer, smoother and more orderly traffic environment in Kaohsiung City, the city government’s TSSM needs to work harder and set more demanding targets this year. In 2017, therefore, Kaohsiung City should set its A1 accident fatality limit at a more demanding level of 138 fatalities, the total of the lowest monthly fatalities from 2014 to 2016. This also takes into account that there are many large vehicles in Kaohsiung City. In 2017, the number of fatalities in large vehicle accidents should be reduced by at least 50% from that of 2016 (34), aiming for 17 or fewer. The overturned tour bus accident on the National Freeway No. 5 on the evening of February 13 caused serious casualties and great sadness. All concerned departments must focus on the KMRT, light rail, city buses and large passenger and cargo vehicles, while also enhancing vehicle safety inspections and the supervision of self-management of the businesses to maintain traffic safety.
The Transportation Bureau said that according to the A1 accident records in 2016, a high proportion of accidents were related to “motorcycles, the elderly, and large vehicles”. The top five causes of accidents were: "unawareness of conditions in front of the vehicle”, "violation of signal control or commands", "not following regulations to give way", "drunk driving and losing control", and "not following regulations to make a turn". Accident types were primarily "rear-end collision at an intersection" and "side collision at a road section".
Chen Ching-Fu, Director-General of the Transportation Bureau, pointed out that the “motorcycles, the elderly, and large vehicles” groups will be specified as the main targets for traffic accident prevention by all TSSM teams in 2017. They will strengthen the improvement of software and hardware traffic facilities, the prohibition of major violations such as speeding and red light running, increased police presence and the promotion of public awareness of inner wheel difference and the blind spot of large vehicles, demonstrating their determination to keep traffic safe through concrete courses of action.