Talk back

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am

Q What do you think of infotainment noise levels on public transport?

Do not wait for lawmakers to legislate on noise pollution. Do something now. Either the volume should be cut overall or two 'quiet cars' should be added adjacent to those already designated.

These suggestions follow from two observations. The sound level is usually loud enough to be heard in the four seats at either end of the car.

When screens are placed in the centre aisle, the noise projects further and can fill the entire quiet car if it is not crowded.

Also, will someone please require Kowloon Canton Railway Corp managers to divulge the details of the survey they claim to have conducted before installing this innovation.

All of us who lodged complaints during its first week in operation received a form letter declaring that only 20 per cent of the survey sample did not welcome the proposal.

The obvious questions are: who conducted this survey; who responded; and did they know what they were approving for the rest of us?

Suzanne Pepper, Heng Fa Chuen

In Tuesday's article on noise pollution on public transport, Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Patrick Ho Chung-kei said guidelines were issued for buses last year. Would Mr Ho please inform public transport users what exactly these guidelines are and explain why passengers have not been informed about them?

He also stated that these guidelines had led to a satisfactory result. On what criteria does Mr Ho base such a judgment, given that the number of complaints about bus TV noise in the third quarter of 2006 were three times the number received during the same period in 2005?

On my journey to work this morning the noise was blaring out all over the lower deck from one speaker at the front.

I dread to think what it was like for passengers on the upper deck with 10 speakers. Does Mr Ho consider this to be a satisfactory situation?

Jill Taylor, Ap Lei Chau

Q How should the old Stanley Police Station be used?

I would suggest that Wellcome be politely told to take a hike. This listed monument, the oldest surviving police station in Hong Kong, should be viewable by the public and tourists to its best advantage, uncluttered with irrelevant commercial produce.

I would suggest an annex to the Police Museum (former Wan Chai Gap Police Station) or a government tourist office; failing that, an art gallery or antique shop.

Guy Shirra, Sai Kung

Stanley is very popular with tourists. Setting the up the old Stanley Police Station as an annex of the police museum or the history museum would prove to be a useful added attraction especially as the police museum is inconveniently placed at Wan Chai Gap.

James Langton, Sai Kung

Q How can environmental awareness be improved?

The recent study done in Los Angeles about the harmful effects of roadside pollution ('Alarm bells ring on roadside homes', January 27), should hopefully make the government take more drastic action to clean up our air.

My concern is that nothing much will be done without public pressure as the powers that be appear to side with big business and not environmental concerns.

So I am completely baffled as to why the medical and education sectors do not speak up about the situation.

Are not these two groups supposed to be concerned about our health, and especially that of our children? Why is there such a silence? Why is there no outrage from educators and medical professionals? Are not their roles more than just teaching and healing, but also protecting? Isn't air pollution a serious threat?

The Environmental Protection Department says it is doing all it can. Is that so? Then why another 18-month study on an idling engine ban? Not sure the emissions are harmful? Is it really necessary to have an 18-month study on adopting the new World Health Organisation standards? Is there something special about the number 18?

Hong Kong is a great place to live and I will continue to do so, but should not the government care enough about the people to give them a healthy environment too?

Quality of life is much more that just a dollar sign.

Terry Scott, Sha Tin

On other matters ...

Many thanks to the Stanley police for working with me to change the habits of one minibus driver.

Last week, I sat in a speeding minibus and asked the driver to slow down. He did, to a crawl, and then started arguing with me. He spent the rest of the trip giving me dirty looks in the rear view mirror.

I checked his name plate to write it down, and he was using a woman driver's instead of his own. I went straight to the Stanley police station from the minibus terminus, gave the details and the bus number. They sent a motorcycle cop to chase it down. Today that same driver was behaving beautifully, driving at an appropriate speed, giving a comfortable ride - and the looks he gave me were polite - and a bit anxious.

Together with the police, we are well able to change the habits of these manic drivers.

Police told me that next time, I could stay on the minibus and ring 999 and they would, if possible, send an officer to meet us at the terminus. I will give them my mobile number so when I call in they will know it is not a crank call. It is time to take back our streets and, by working with the police, we can.

Annelise Connell, Tai Tam

On Tuesday, a funny thing happened on the 7.30pm Pearl TV news. The newsreader complained that during President Hu Jintao's visit to Cameroon, the Chinese flag was upside down. Meanwhile, on their much-vaunted English subtitles, Cameroon was misspelt as Camberoon.

Ken Kamoche, Sha Tin