The Price Is Wrong

They say you can't put a price on safety, but apparently, in Taiwan you can. From my casual observations, it's:

- $199NT ($6USD). That will buy you one of those RT MART (like WALMART) scooter helmets that provides excellent crash protection if you happen to hit something directly on the top of your head, and nowhere else. Side bonus: comes in a variety of trendy colours and styles with no regard to its structural integrity.

- the cost of a small bamboo chair for placing your child in the footwell part of your scooter. In the event of an accident, you will not be reimbursed for the major dental work needed on your kid from steering column impact.

- free. You can ride 4-up (2 parents, 2 kids) or just 3-up (2 parents, one baby held in the mother's arms) on the scooter at no additional cost. Even riding in front of police officers doesn't get any reaction from them.


Kevin said...

Riding a scooter with 4 people seems completely absurd to me. But I can understand it.

If you have 1 adult + 1 child, the child stands in the front area. 2 adults, they sit on the seats. 2 adults + 1 child, the adults sit on the seat with the child wedged between them, held by the back adult, or stands in the front. So, clearly it makes sense that 2 adults and 2 children should fit on 1 scooter.

While this is clearly a safety hazard on all accounts, I think police have a hard time cracking down on this because of the economic situation for Taiwanese. The people who scooter in 4s do it not because they want to but because they need to. It's hard to force a family to buy a car, because that stuff it out of the financial reach of many people.

And so as soon as they conduct an official clowns on a scooter test, people will try to fit as many as they can on a scooter.

What gets to me is that some parents zip around dangerously/recklessly on their scooters with their children at risk. I just want to honk they hell out of them.

Ben said...

That's just the thing. I would never want to be carrying my kids on a scooter. The connoisseur of scooter accidents that I am, I know that if you even have one child on the scooter (riding in the back as they're supposed to), there is very little you can do to protect them in case of an unfortunate event. Especially with the child in the front, that's probably the fastest way to get an imprint of your kid's face in the steering column, cartoon style.

I'd like to think that were I at a kids/family stage, I could afford to have my children protected in the passenger cage of a vehicle with some kind of safety rating. Because hey, who can put a price on safety, right?