Young joyriders take double-decker for spin

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 June, 2009, 12:00am

The YouTube clip lasted only 45 seconds yet it was all driver Keung Ting-yuen had to see to realise the menace of teenagers joyriding in buses had returned to the city's streets.

In October 2006, five KMB double-deckers were stolen in a suspected mass joyride from depots at Tuen Mun, Kwai Hing and Kwai Fong. All five buses were eventually retrieved undamaged.

The YouTube clip, uploaded on Thursday, shows a youngster in a baseball cap behind the wheel of a double-decker with at least two male accomplices heard yelling instructions beside him.

The footage, which was removed from the site last night, showed the joyriders taking the bus from a terminus, making several turns and returning to the station. Fortunately there was not much traffic in the area.

'The wheel handling is awkward,' Mr Keung said after watching the clip. 'He may know how to drive but he is definitely not a professional and trained bus driver. He is an amateur on a joyride.'

Mr Keung, secretary of the KMB branch of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, said a driver may have forgotten to remove his keys from the vehicle. 'It's not too difficult to start up a bus if the key is there,' he said. He believed the joyride took place at the Mong Kok East railway station bus terminus.

Kowloon Motor Bus runs eight routes from the terminus, according to its website.

In response to the clip, a KMB spokeswoman said the company could not identify whether the bus was one of its vehicles, and it had not received a report of a missing bus.

A spokeswoman for Citybus and New World First Bus said they had not had any reports of unauthorised use of buses in the past few days, adding that starting a bus involved several procedures.

A police spokesman said no reports had been received but they would investigate.

A KMB double-decker was seriously damaged in a midnight joyride in December 2004 when it mowed down two lamp posts and a 10-metre stretch of railings in Tuen Mun.