Autotoll arguments fail to convince

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from the Transport Department headlined 'Technical problems' (South China Morning Post, May 13), replying to correspondents concerning the use of Autotoll tags for motorcycles.

The department said because motorbikes are small an Autotoll tag attached to them could not activate equipment at toll-booths. It talked of doing a 'further trial' at the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel.

Could it explain how its testing procedures were conducted? Surely, the system detects the Autotoll tag, not the vehicle that it is attached to.

The problem can't be the height that the tag is attached at, given that there is considerable difference in the heights of tags attached to Ferraris (lower than a motorcycle) and articulated trucks (higher than a motorcycle).

Surely it cannot be the speed, as a tag fitted inside a car would be moving at the same speed as a tag fitted inside a motorcycle travelling at the same speed. Is it that motorcycles don't have forward-facing number plates? If so, why do I see rear-facing cameras at Autotoll lanes?

The department should provide more details. Its reply was far from satisfactory.


Shouson Hill