Taipei--Around 3,000 riders of heavy motorcycles are expected to gather outside the Presidential Office on Saturday to push for the right to ride their big bikes on Taiwan's national freeways.
Hung Tsung-pao (???), who heads a large motorcycle association, said amended traffic management regulations passed by the Legislature in 2012 allow motorcycles over 550 cc to ride on certain sections of freeways at certain times to be set by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
But the law has never been put into effect despite several meetings on the issue by the ministry and a ministry pledge that it would begin a trial run.
Hung said the number of large heavy motorcycles is increasing at around 20,000 per year, but they have no access to the national freeways, which he said was "unfair."
He also said Taiwan is one of the few countries in the world that do not allow large motorcycles on freeways.
In addition to the gathering on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, Hung said heavy motorcyclists will drive up national freeways from around the island starting at midnight, knowing full well that they could be fined.
They will take the action to show their exasperation at the ministry's inaction and will file administrative suits if they are fined, he said.
Hung complained that the ministry has often cited safety concerns for delaying its decision, but that according to the ministry's data, there have been no fatalities related to heavy motorcycles since they were first allowed in 2008 to travel on local expressways, which have lower speed limits than national freeways.
He urged the ministry to begin a trial run and review the regulations if problems crop up.
There are currently an estimated 63,000 heavy motorcycles over 550 cc and around 50,000 heavy motorcycles between 250 cc and 550 cc.
The Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said heavy motorcycles are currently prohibited on national freeways and riders will be fined between NT$3,000 (around US$100) and NT$6,000 if they ignore the ban.