PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 February, 2011, 12:00am

Driving schools to blame for bad motorists

I write to highlight the abundance of sub-standard drivers currently on the road in the city.

Previous correspondents have written about the incompetence of Hong Kong drivers negotiating such obstacles as roundabouts but even driving in the correct lane on the highway (far left unless overtaking) seems a difficult task for them.

Negotiating roundabouts, which lane to drive on the expressway and how to overtake sensibly and safely are all in the Transport Department's Road Users' Code. It seems, however, that many drivers in Hong Kong have never read it and, if they have, just blatantly ignore its contents.

As director of a wine logistics company, I drive around 35,000 kilometres annually and see accidents on Hong Kong's roads every day. Given the quality of the drivers on the SAR's roads, the government's 'Zero Accidents on the road: Hong Kong's goal' is a pipe dream.

Taxis and minibuses seem to be the worst offenders but I am beginning to see a serious lack of road confidence and quality driving in those who recently passed their tests (those with the P sign on the rear window). I blame the incompetence of the local driving schools for teaching people to drive badly.

I have witnessed in Yuen Long a driver, on his test, driving in a 50km/h zone at 15km/h - surely a danger to himself and other drivers. I can't say if the driver passed his test but it seems in Hong Kong that once you have paid the motoring school the fees for the lessons, you expect to pass at first try.

Until there are qualified driving instructors available, the quality of drivers here will never get better and the government's aim will be perpetually unobtainable.

Alasdair Nicol, director, Wines On Wheels

Enforce ban on pets in stores

It annoys me when I see people trying to bring their dogs into supermarkets or onto public transport when these pets are banned.

They sometimes hide the dogs in bags.

However, some are quite blatant and leave the bag open with the animal's head sticking out.

They might even allow their dogs out once they are in the store or on the bus or minibus.

Apart from the prohibition rule, it is cruel to put the pets in a bag; they should be left at home.

It is pointless complaining to supermarket staff, who feel embarrassed about confronting unruly customers.

Bus and minibus drivers may not notice the animal when the owners board, but if they hear barking, they would rather not take any action.

Other passengers have to put up with the nuisance caused by the presence of these dogs on board.

Signs and notices must be put up in supermarkets and on public transport reminding customers not to bring their dogs with them. Also, owners should behave responsibly and not bring their pets where they are prohibited, especially to places where food is being sold.

I hope the authorities will strictly enforce the relevant regulations.

Esther Liu, Kowloon City

Incinerator is right solution

Hong Kong is one of the most wasteful places in the world. Because of this, our landfills will eventually reach saturation point.

I think recycling coupled with incineration is a feasible alternative. Recycling is a necessary step to reduce the amount of waste dumped into the landfills. Also, with government help, an expanded recycling industry could provide more jobs.

What is required to increase recycling is a concerted effort on the part of the government and the public.

Incineration can help with the bulk of the waste we generate and this can help relieve the pressure on landfills. It can also generate electricity, which can provide energy to the community.

It could even become a tourist attraction, which is the case in Japan. There will be a negative impact on the environment with regard to air quality, as these plants produce ash. But, with advanced technology, the effects are minimal. Incinerators are also suitable for Hong Kong because we have only a limited supply of land, and with such a large population, we produce a huge amount of refuse.

We have to accept that the continued use of landfills is inevitable, but the government has to come up with other waste disposal solutions. Incineration coupled with recycling is the most effective solution for Hong Kong.

Joey Chow, Kowloon Tong

Educate citizens about recycling

Hong Kong's landfills will be full in five years. Therefore, prompt action is needed to cope with future needs.

Public concern about waste disposal was heightened by the government plan to expand Tseung Kwan O landfill.

This proposal, which was voted down by the Legislative Council, was not the right solution. Expanding our landfills is not the answer to the problems that we face. It would be a short-sighted policy.

It is far more sound to consider building incinerators even though some people have expressed concerns about pollution.

This problem can be minimised with advanced technology.

The building of incinerators would help minimise pollution and therefore improve our lives.

Also, they can generate electricity and this could lead to reduced use of coal. The incinerator in Macau, for example, generates sufficient electricity for 33,000 families.

They would also create jobs as staff would be required to operate them.

I am not saying that building incinerators is a perfect solution. There can be air pollution problems even with strict controls and some leakages of toxic gas.

Ultimately there must be better education about the importance of recycling, or greening of the environment. But educating Hong Kong's citizens takes time.

Louis So, Sham Shui Po

Waste reduction is so important

In order to deal with Hong Kong's mounting waste problem, officials have chosen a remote outlying island for a controversial mega-incinerator.

They argue that the site is far from major population centres and would create a more balanced distribution of waste facilities throughout the city.

Building the incinerator is only a temporary solution and it could adversely affect our health with dioxins being released when refuse is burned.

The proposed site at Shek Kwu Chau will prove to be very expensive. The government needs to implement some programmes to increase awareness among the public and corporations in a bid to step up the fight against food waste.

It is important to speed up the process by which legislation is introduced which implements charging for waste.

This will encourage citizens to reduce generation of waste at source and that will reduce the pressure on waste treatment.

We all need to try our best to reduce unnecessary waste and make better use of available resources, if we want to create a better city.

Katie Leung, Kwun Tong

Label website was unreadable

The government's nutrition label interpreter service may have a mere 7,200 visits because it is poorly designed ('Little demand for online interpreter', February 21).

I clicked on the link the South China Morning Post conveniently provided, and was rewarded by a small rectangle of minuscule text surrounded by a sea of black. The font size was below the resolution of my monitor, and therefore unreadable. I understand that the site is designed for hand-held devices with small screens, but I do wonder exactly which device this site was tested with. Good Web design techniques will present usable information on all users' devices.

I decided to close the window. To add insult to injury, a clearly readable pop-up asked me, 'Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?'

Allan Dyer, Wong Chuk Hang

Long wait for English version

Since the book China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao by Yu Jie came out last August, I have waited patiently for the English translation to appear in the bookshops.

Can some of your readers tell me that somehow or other I have missed it? Surely it is not possible that the book has not been made available to the English-speaking world?

There are quite a lot of us and I cannot think of any other recent book about China that has not been translated for the benefit of non-Chinese-speaking readers.

Surely the Chinese government is not so fearful of Yu Jie's book that it has banned it to the wider world? Sadly, one cannot help being suspicious of such an omission.

Please, can someone out there tell me what to do to get a translation made?

I refuse to believe that the English-speaking world is not interested in Yu Jie's book; still less that censorship is tolerated in free societies.

Helen Heron, Sai Kung

Helpful network

While some people talk about the risks associated with Facebook, I think I have benefited from it.

You are able to communicate with friends whom you have not been in touch with for some time.

You can also make new friends. This social network has become part of my daily life.

I think it can improve the relationships you have with other people, and my social network is much broader than it was before I started using Facebook.

Poon Hiu-ching, Sham Shui Po