Follow Vancouver's example

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 August, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 August, 1993, 12:00am

FOREVER in the news are stories about the stolen Hong Kong cars which the grasping Communist cadres in China are so keen to get their hands on.

The Hong Kong police have had relatively little success in stopping the car thefts and - by some convoluted reasoning - the motor vehicle insurance companies believe that it entitles them to hoist insurance rates on all cars regardless of whether the model one drives is stolen. A recent article in a Vancouver newspaper reported that the British Columbia Automobile Association and the police were urging motorists to fight back against car thefts by placing a yellow and black ''Combat Auto Theft'' (CAT) decal in the rear window.

The sign alerts police to the fact that the owner does not normally drive the vehicle between the hours of 1 am and 5 am. Any police officer spotting the vehicle on the road during those hours will assume that it has been stolen, and act accordingly. More than 30,000 vehicle owners have registered since the free programme was introduced in 1991, and only three cars so marked have been reported stolen. Is it too much to ask that the vehicle insurance companies investigate this scheme and produce, in conjunction with the police, a workable variation for this colony? Anything which cuts back on the unfair burden that the luxury car owners are foisting on the users of cheaper cars which are unlikely to be stolen, will be most welcome to this car owner.

ANTHONY R. C. GREEN Happy Valley