HK bus drivers need far more rigorous training
The tragic death of a taxi driver on Sunday raises many questions ("Taxi driver killed in flyover plunge", September 10).
Why was the low wall at the side of the flyover not strong enough to keep the taxi on the road, even if he crashed into it? The dreadful death toll a few years ago, when a double decker bus plunged off a flyover in Tuen Mun, could also have been prevented had the roadside crash barriers been high and strong enough to keep it on the road.
Did the poor taxi driver collapse or fall asleep at the wheel?
Cabbies have in the past been criticised for careless driving. However, when we consider the level of safe driving of those with scores of lives in their hands, as they drive a public service bus, surely higher standards of driving care are to be expected?
While such higher standards may be expected, too few of Hong Kong's bus drivers deliver, to the shame of the bus companies that employ them, and this is hazardous for the travelling public.
I recently observed two traffic accidents here, caused when one bus crashed into another one.
Public bus drivers should adhere to the highest international standards, and be trained to be very cautious road users, avoiding taking the least risk with the lives of the many passengers which rest in their hands.
Clearly, one bus crashing into another indicates that at least one of the drivers was taking an unacceptable risk as he manoeuvred his vehicle.
Too few of Hong Kong's bus firms take enough trouble to train their drivers so they adhere to safe and comfortable techniques for their large vehicles.
That many are driven far too fast is another aspect of the problem.
Then there is the passenger comfort issue. A bus is not transporting a lorry-load of cabbages.
Passenger comfort is seldom considered as many bus drivers swerve unexpectedly, come to too-sudden halts, apply brakes on-and-off while going slowly, accelerate too quickly and take other inconsiderate actions which leave passengers, especially those standing, feeling as if they are swaying on a ship in rough seas.
Specific training (for example, apply brakes gently, other than in an emergency) of drivers, on how to make a comfortable ride for their passengers, is either not given here or is ineffective.
The millions of Hongkongers who travel on the buses every week would appreciate training that emphasised safety and passenger comfort.
Paul Surtees, Mid-Levels