Time to clamp down on this mobile medley

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 12:00am

I am fed up with the persistent nuisance of mobile phones during live events in Hong Kong.

This may seem a bit of an old complaint, but it appears more valid now than ever.

During the Hong Kong Ladies Challenge tennis tournament in Victoria Park, on the evening of January 4, I counted 15 different mobile phone rings. This tally does not include the 'silent buzzers' which people answered, nor the instant messaging and keypad tapping that was going on. The umpires requested three times that these devices be turned off, once, in particular, when Jennifer Capriati had to abandon a toss for a serve due to the interruption.

We all acknowledge the problem, but clearly current means have failed to deter use of the phones. If people are waiting for urgent messages, then do what my wife, an on-call doctor, does and sit on the outside edge of a row. Put your phone or pager onto silent vibrate, then if called, you can leave the event during a break and return the urgent call. But it seems that most people cannot be bothered.

Therefore 'Big Brother' has to take some action. I call upon events organisers to put in place fines, or expulsion rules. They should also more widely publicise the unacceptable social nuisance of ringing tones.


The Peak