The government is responsible for approving, monitoring and ensuring that the laws concerning public transport are not only obeyed but, even more importantly, rigorously enforced.
So is it not extremely important that our lawmakers discuss in the greatest possible detail the wording and meaning of the laws of the road that they design and approve, to make them absolutely clear to all drivers of public transport vehicles, especially of taxis and minibuses? The standard of driving and manners of a great many of these drivers is abysmal.
Consider the law on the speed limit of minibuses. Has it been drafted in a way that is perfectly clear? Do the signs displayed in minibuses ensure clarity? The answer is definitely no. The government has approved a law that is hardly ever, if ever, enforced and is totally ignored by the vast majority of minibus drivers.
Give a thought to the wording concerning the maximum speed of minibuses. The legally required sign in the cab must read: "The maximum speed of this vehicle is limited to XX km/h" , giving the required top speed. But limited by what? In my experience, nothing more than the driver's foot on the pedal. I used to travel from Tsuen Wan Market Street to Fo Tan every day. It was not a journey I enjoyed, as every day I was driven at speeds well in excess of 80 km/h, when a speeding signal would buzz, the driver reduced speed for a few seconds and then put their foot down hard again on the accelerator.
What kind of law fails to prevent that? Our legislators obviously believe every minibus driver will voluntarily restrict the speed of his or her vehicle to 80 km/h. Have any of our legislators actually ever travelled on a minibus? If you look at the legislation it would appear that they have not.
The speed limit legislation for minibuses is pathetic. Most passengers are reluctant to complain for fear of verbal abuse or worse.
However, if a "governor" - a device that controls the rotational speed of an engine - was installed in every minibus the speed would be restricted to 80km/h. Journeys for long-suffering minibus passengers would be a lot less stressful and our roads would be a lot safer.
No need for the government to take notice of minibus operators, who would without doubt protest, "What about the cost?" Just enforce the law that it has passed. There will always be companies that want to operate minibuses.
Bob Beadman, Tsuen Wan