Unmarked police cars would reduce road danger

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 February, 1999, 12:00am

I have been following the recent debate on speeding offences with interest. As a regular motorcyclist, entrusting my life into the hands of the Hong Kong motoring public, I would like to make the following points.

Due to the urban nature of Hong Kong's highways and the high traffic density, speeding on normal roads is almost an impossibility. This leaves speeding on expressways as the main concern.

In my experience, Hong Kong's expressways have very low speed limits. Three-lane expressways can, in some cases, have speed limits as low as 50kph with the normal limit being 80kph.

In many instances you will find almost all drivers on an expressway exceeding these limits by some amount. Drivers who keep to the limit often find that they have many cars passing them on the inside and the outside, causing a hazard and impediment to smooth traffic flow.

Increasing speed limits to a more acceptable level would allow law-abiding drivers to keep up with the average and therefore smooth traffic flow.

My second point is that dangerous and erratic driving is far more dangerous to the motoring public than a driver exceeding the speed limit by 5kph, and this cannot be picked up as easily by cameras simply checking vehicle speed.

I would suggest that the police concentrate more on catching and prosecuting drivers who veer erratically from lane to lane and follow too close to slower-moving traffic.

The most effective way to do this is to have more unmarked police cars on the expressways checking for irresponsible drivers, who are then taken to court for their actions.

Such a police presence would be a far more effective deterrent to bad driving than issuing speeding tickets weeks after an incident has happened.

Finally, I would like to point out that compared to many other countries, Hong Kong drivers are quite safe, showing good lane discipline and healthy respect for other road users.