Illusion of enforcement?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 12:00am

I refer to the letter headlined 'Ignored offences' (November 24).

I agree with the concerns expressed in the letter, but see no evidence for the notion that speeding is being seriously tackled. I see dozens of speed infractions every day as I commute. These are being reproduced a hundredfold at any given moment.

Research in other countries confirms this. Studies repeatedly show virtually 100 per cent of drivers exceed speed limits. This is because they can get away with it. The chances of being caught have been computed at one for every 220,000 miles travelled.

If police in Hong Kong are tackling speed 'in a high-profile manner' I have yet to see it. They are going through the motions only. Possibly the 'high profile' concept is part of the problem creating an illusion of enforcement. In fact, the greatest danger and risk is to the most vulnerable road-users and occurs at relatively low speeds which drivers do not regard as 'speeding' and police do not bother about, even though such 'low' speeds have extreme consequences. Remember that pedestrians comprise the largest category of traffic casualties and are invariably innocent of any offence.

As well as the correspondent's list of offences, huge road safety improvements would come from lowering speed limits to about 30kph in urban streets and enforcing this properly, so encouraging people to walk and cycle, making our city streets pleasant and liveable for all.