New driver laws to cost jobs: union

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 February, 2000, 12:00am

Proposed new dangerous driving laws were unfair and could cost commercial drivers their livelihood, a union claimed yesterday.

About 30 representatives from the Motor Transport Workers General Union handed a petition to lawmakers before a debate on proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Ordinance.

The changes would replace the charge of reckless driving with one of dangerous driving - which the Government says is easier to prove.

The $25,000 maximum penalty for reckless driving would rise to $50,000 if the amendments are passed. A conviction for dangerous driving could also lead to the loss of a driver's licence.

Cheuk Siu-yee, vice-chairman of the union representing 31,000 commercial drivers, said the amendments lacked objective prosecution criteria, leaving room for possible police abuse.

'The heavy fine alone would pose many problems for drivers. Many are now worried about their living,' Mr Cheuk said.

'We are also against the proposed amendment because there's no basis to determine dangerous driving.' But a senior police officer said although it differed on a case-by-case basis, generally, it was obvious when a driver was driving dangerously.

He said the amendments aimed to protect the safety of road users and did not target any group.