PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2004, 12:00am

Q Should management companies relax rules on pets?

Yes, but management companies need to have some kind of policy to deal with nuisance cases. Just as important is the issue of dogs and public space. The relevant government authorities and district councils need to consult with the community about dogs and recreational space in urban areas as well as country parks. It is very sad that many dogs do not receive the exercise they should and the government still does not fully acknowledge the social benefits that pet-owning brings.

Hilary du Cros, Clearwater Bay

Maybe barking dogs are noisy (and I have quite a few of them around my apartment) but, for me, the children living on the upper floor are definitely much more annoying than pets. Their continuous running around reminds me of the horse races in Happy Valley. Should we ban children from living in apartments?

Shouldn't we try to show a bit of empathy and tolerance?

Francesco Formiconi,

Repulse Bay

Q Should smoking be banned in bars and restaurants?

I should like to raise some issues on the smoking debate. Toby Heale has got it all wrong. The issue is not a matter of personal choice and freedom. The issue is health, pure and simple. You only cloud the issue by bringing up Legco and the Democrats.

He did not want to bring statistics into the debate but I will give you one to think about. On the mainland today, there are 100 million people who will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses. Many will be spouses and children of smokers succumbing to second-hand smoke.

Jeffry Kuperus brings in another point to debate. Why are the non-smoking tables always in the least favoured places such as the back of restaurant? And often there are not enough places for non-smokers so they are placed in smoking sections. Yes, I will complain. I take my hat off to Dublin Jack's for voluntarily going non-smoking. I will go there because of it.

Richard Walters, Central

Q Should the government resume control of the Western Harbour Tunnel?

The issue is not whether the government should resume the tunnel but how it should manage the tolls across the three tunnels to maximise economic benefit. The Cross Harbour Tunnel is underpriced; this is the issue the government is failing to address.

Martin Lodge, Morrison Hill

Q What is the most effective way to deter drivers from speeding?

I fully support John Herbert's views on the setting of speed limits in his letter published in yesterday's Talkback. One wonders if there is an ounce of common sense left within the Transport Department. There are so many examples of ridiculous speed limits in Hong Kong one hardly knows where to begin.

Let me give a few more: 50km/h along most of Pokfulam Road (a dual carriageway); a recently imposed 50km/h limit (revised from 70km/h) along the dual carriageway section of Tai Po Road, a safe, open, very lightly-trafficked section of road; the 70km/h and then 50km/h limits in the final approaches to the Airport Terminal; and finally the example given by Mr Herbert - 50 km/h on the downhill (but not uphill) section of the four-lane Hiram's Highway.

These limits are so nonsensical that they are almost universally ignored. One is left scratching one's head and asking: 'Why?' The only beneficiaries are the police, whose speed traps are often set up on these lucrative 50km/h sections of road but catch out only the normally law-abiding driver, not the early-morning racers who are the real culprits in our speed-related death toll.

Senior Transport Department officials should drive along these sections of road at the speed limits set and ask themselves: 'Is this reasonable?' Why spend millions of dollars on four-lane highways and then impose speed limits more appropriate to a horse and carriage?

Markus Shaw, Tsim Sha Tsui