Decongestion

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 1994, 12:00am

IT never ceases to amaze me that Hong Kong legislators fail to look at the totality of the problems legislation aims to resolve. The proposals to ease Hong Kong's traffic congestion is a perfect example.


Obviously, it is too late to turn the page back now on why they didn't build a 'south island' corridor or the second harbour tunnel at a more convenient access point or any other shortcoming.


However, much could be done on a different front.


One way to reduce the number of vehicles on the road would be the rigid enforcement of road traffic laws and the removal from the roads of violators and their vehicles either permanently or for a lengthy period.


As three or four out of every 10 vehicles have defective exhausts that emit clouds of noxious fumes, it would not be unreasonable to expect a proportionate reduction in numbers if offenders were given lengthy suspensions.


Remove, also, reckless idiots who randomly smash into the rear of vehicles or commit other acts of dangerous driving - the police seem disinterested in prosecuting dangerous drivers even when they have caused accidents.


There are many possibilities.


All that is surely necessary to start is the proper education of traffic police, probably the major obstacle, coupled with a directive to concentrate on the above-mentioned priorities instead of giving speed tickets to motorists on the waterfront when they are trying to keep traffic moving.


An easing up of resources devoted to prosecuting drivers who spend three nano-seconds with the edge of one wheel more than half a millimetre over some yellow line or other, would also help.


Given the awful driving standards in Hong Kong, carelessness, selfishness of road users and the appalling condition of many vehicles, it does seem to me that big inroads could be made.


Imposing heavier costs for road users is an imperfect solution because there is no guarantee of a sufficient response.