Buses with straight staircases are riskier

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 12:00am

The number of passengers who trip up or injure themselves on buses with straight staircases is almost double that for buses with spiral staircases, government figures show.

Kowloon Motor Bus recorded more accidents than the other bus companies last year, though in its case most occurred on buses with spiral staircases. KMB reported 13 accidents on its buses with straight staircases and 49 on those with spiral staircases.

However, buses with straight staircases comprised only about an eighth of its 4,000-strong fleet.

The Transport and Housing Bureau released figures yesterday following a written question from lawmaker Miriam Lau Kin-yee, who asked if falls on straight staircases tended to cause more serious injuries to passengers.

An 82-year-old man died after tripping over and falling down a straight staircase on a KMB bus last month. The driver was arrested for dangerous driving causing death but was later released.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng said in a written reply that both staircase designs met safety requirements in Hong Kong, and European manufacturers were also satisfied that the straight staircase design was safe.

On the 1,700-strong fleet of Citybus and New World First Bus, although there was just one accident on one of the 28 buses with straight staircases last year, that was higher proportionally when compared with the 40 accidents on 1,672 buses with spiral staircases in the same period.