The sweltering summertime is the most miserable season for Taiwan’s army of scooter riders. Seat covers burn, asphalt steams, visored helmets fill with sweat, and above all, there’s the torment of waiting behind a red light.
There is one trick some riders have adopted to keep from getting sticky and sunburned in summer, but police are warning that it might be a finable offense.
In July, only Taiwan’s high mountains can escape the heat. It’s high summer, and temperatures across most of the island are stuck above 30C. Then, there’s the summer humidity.
When confronted with traffic lights around this time of year, many scooter riders shy away from the parts of the road that are exposed to the harsh sun. They’ll stop a way back from red lights, pulling over under inviting patches of shade.
But with summer here once again, police in Taiwan are warning that keeping cool this way could come with a price. Scooter riders must keep to the right edge of the road, and they must not pull over in bus stops or in areas where the curb is painted red. Ignoring any of these rules is a traffic violation and can carry a fine of up to NT$600 (US$19).