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To avoid accidents caused by passengers holding selfie sticks and getting electric shock on the platform, the JR West Japan Railway Company has completely banned selfie sticks from all stations since September 19. Recently, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has also undertaken legislation regarding banning selfie sticks.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications points out, authorities will refer to relevant regulations of foreign railway companies and figure out how to regulate selfie sticks in Taiwan. Currently based on the Railway Law, people holding selfie sticks impeding safety on the streets will be taken in by the police and can be fined up to NT$ 50,000 (approximately US$ 1522.88).

ETtoday reports, the selfie stick is popular among tourists, but could injure others. The US, Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland have already announced the banning of the sticks. Given the length of selfie sticks, they might accidentally hook cables and cause electric shock, so the JR West Japan Railway Company and Shinkansen have banned the use of the sticks since September. TRA will also refer to JR-West and restrict the selfie sticks from going over the white line on the platform when in use. The length of the sticks will also be regulated. The proposal is expected to launch by the end of this year.

UDN reports, a TRA director Liu Shuang-huo says the platform stands 92 to 115 cm high, which is close to the high-voltage cable. If people have long objects held in their hands, they could get hurt with merely stretching their arms up.

TRA says, so far the company only prohibits people from taking photos on the tracks. There is no clear provision regarding the use of the selfie sticks on the platform and the station staff can only control them through persuasion. In regard that JR-West has announced the banning of selfie sticks, and that starting from the end of the year, the platforms of five stations in Taichung will be extended to 115 cm and become closer to the railway cables, TRA will plan forward relevant regulations for safety concerns.

TRA says, there have been no relevant accidents regarding selfie sticks in recent five years, but cables injured two people holding the sticks in 2013 and 2014.

Taiwan High Speed Rail says, currently they have no relevant rules regarding passengers holding selfie sticks, but in order to avoid risk of electric shock, the company has posted platform safety information to remind passengers not to use the sticks while waiting on the platform. The station staff will also advise passengers who are using selfie sticks on the platform.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang