Authorities turning blind eye to deadly speeding on South Lantau Road

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 3:15am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 3:15am

There have been a number of letters published in these pages recently about the traffic conditions and appalling driving habits of users of South Lantau Road.

All of the writers have been rightly critical of lax enforcement of the speed limits, which are regularly exceeded, as well as the cavalier attitude many drivers have to safety.

This major road, which snakes its way across the length of south Lantau, appears to have been the subject of apathy from police and intransigence from the Transport Department. Together they have allowed the driving habits of too many people to get out of hand. Consequently, care and consideration on the road are in very short supply nowadays.

This month marks the first anniversary of a horrendous accident in which eight feral cows were killed.

At subsequent meetings with the police and officials from the Transport Department, there were calls from several Lantau district concern groups, including Protection of Animals Lantau South, to install closed-circuit television cameras at known black spots, enhance the use of speed cameras and introduce any available "speed calming" measures as used widely in other parts of the world.

All the efforts were to no avail. The department's latest statement claims that "a study at the hit-and-run site had already shown that the section of road failed to meet the criteria for installing cameras".

This is a truly remarkable piece of information at which anyone who is familiar with the road would be able to have a hearty laugh if lives were not at stake. And that's just the issue; it is not only our gentle cows who are at risk, or our wonderful water buffalo, or the local dogs or village cats, but all of the precious life we have on Lantau; animals and humans. They deserve to be protected from reckless and inconsiderate drivers.

The Transport Department should release details about the study it carried out on the road. When did it carry out its study, how was it carried out, and exactly what are its criteria for the installation of traffic safety measures? For those of us who witness speeding daily throughout south Lantau, it is a matter of life and death.

Jacqueline Green, Protection of Animals Lantau South