Now, tackle noise pollution

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 March, 2004, 12:00am

While we are making progress in Hong Kong to control air pollution, noise pollution is an environmental nuisance which lowers the quality of the city.

On the corner of Queen's Road and Pedder Street, and along the exit of the Star Ferry in Kowloon, there is often a group blaring announcements over a megaphone. Apparently there is no general prohibition on the public using megaphones. This means that any group can espouse its cause this way, be it commercial, political or social.

The very large advertisements screened on World Wide House's frontage in Central as well as Ocean Terminal also create noise pollution. I have been told that these do not, strictly speaking, conflict with Section 11 of the Advertisements Regulation. However, they constitute an audio and visual distraction for both pedestrians and drivers, which could also prove hazardous.

Our city is busy enough, with a lot of traffic noise. I do not think it is right for the public to be forced to listen to announcements broadcast over a microphone or public address system or via a large screen. The only time such broadcasts are acceptable is in an emergency when the public needs to be informed and perhaps mobilised.

Before these noisy and visual nuisances further intrude into our public and personal spaces, I suggest that the city take measures to control them.

NELLY FUNG, Southern District