• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 5:25am

Restrict and regulate dangerous cyclists to protect pedestrians

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 3:43am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 3:43am

For a long time, drivers in Hong Kong have suffered in silence when motorbikes have weaved through traffic at high speed, overtaking on the left or right, and very often cutting in from the left.

These motorcyclists inevitably jump the queue when approaching the toll area of one of Hong Kong's tunnels, after which they ride in the middle of double white lines, only making a decision to take the left or the right lane when they see which lane is faster.

Many of them have no respect for traffic lights.

In addition to the above, we have to tolerate groups of cyclists pedalling along Repulse Bay or struggling up Peak Road, holding up traffic consisting of tourist buses, New World First buses and private cars.

With so many cyclists on the road, perhaps it is time that they be required to obtain cycling licences, as they do not appear to know the traffic rules.

On occasion, they ride three abreast along narrow Peak Road, creating a tailback of traffic.

They cycle at fairly high speeds, do not believe in hand signals, and do not have rear view mirrors.

Worse still is the fact that a certain number of these cyclists have been seen by me on at least two Sunday mornings cycling up Black's Link from near the Police Museum towards Shouson Hill. This road has its ups and downs, as well as a lot of hikers of all ages.

A few weeks ago, a number of senior hikers were visibly shaken when these cyclists hurtled down the slope, as it was difficult to jump aside fast enough to avoid being hit, especially when they came down in packs.

On that occasion, some of the walkers informed the cyclists that Black's Link was not a cycling lane, and pointed out a sign prohibiting cycling. On August 10, the same cyclists were again reminded of the fact at the entrance to Black's Link. Their response was "we know" before they proceeded to cycle up the road.

Under the circumstances, the relevant authorities should consider putting speed bumps or even barriers as well as big signs marking this as a "no cycling" lane. That, in addition to much more regulation of these two-wheeled road menaces.

Barbara Winterbourne, Happy Valley


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This article is now closed to comments

Ms Winterbourne, could you please direct me to the section of the relevant HK legislation where it states that lane splitting (the first "menace" you describe) is actually illegal? I haven't been able to find it. What this has to do with cyclists I'm not quite sure. Regardless, I ride a bike most every day in Hong Kong and I am guilty of the most heinous crime of holding up traffic on both Repulse Bay Rd and Peak Rd - and many other roads besides. I'm curious - do you have the cure for cancer or a solution for the Middle East crisis in your glove compartment that is in urgent need of delivery to the Peak Galleria? Perhaps you could spend the 30 seconds my being in front of your vehicle adds to your journey thinking of ways you could encourage your fellow pedestrians to pay more attention as the aimlessly wander into the streets of Hong Kong in a dreamlike state, as if they are they the only person using the immediate piece of footpath and/or road. Perhaps you are the only person in your universe - I don't know, but I'll leave my baseless assumptions for another post.
Ms Winterbourne,
It's cars, taxis and trucks that kill cyclists. The evidence is in the newspapers every week. So I suggest you slow down, exercise a bit of patience and stop thinking you have an exclusive right to use the roads. Even better, join us: that way you will help the environment by cutting down on pollution, improve your fitness and maybe develop a more positive attitude.
So you complain about cyclists speeding AND holding up traffic, so the traffic must have been speeding even worse?
The Peak Road is narrow, and overtaking a cyclist would be dangerous.
Dear Babs
Cyclists have as much right to use the road as any other vehicle user has, be that a tourist bus, a taxi, truck or car. Yes, they are slower than your gas guzzling motor vehicle but is your life so time critical that a few minutes of tolerance is unacceptable? Your attitude towards folk who care about their health is rather intolerant to say the least. Oh and the reason cyclists often do not use hand signals is it is often safer to ride with both hands on the handlebars and brakes, especially when some impatient motorist is driving far too close behind. What you must accept and understand is bicycles are not fitted with ABS or other whizz bang braking inventions like cars are.
There is much merit in encouraging cycling in school curriculum. This could include an understanding of road signs and road markings, riding with traffic as well as some rudimentary bicycle repairing. Add to this more weight about cycle safety for motorists as part of their driving tuition and licence testing and we would be well on the way to a far more tolerant and happier life. It would be far to burdensome to legislate cycling as a stand alone I suspect and if this was to be considered than potential riders would probably not bother to ride. A muffled "Hurrah" I hear from the myopic Ms. Winterbourne as she sits in her sound proofed car interior.
I think there are signs on Blacks Link, although the road is perfectly suited to bikes. You are correct that Ms W is clearly one of those selfish motorists who thinks she has exclusive use of the roads.
This letter is just a series of unconnected generalisations by someone who evidently dislikes cyclists. If motorcyclists jump queues at tunnels, how does that relate to bicycles on Peak Road?
Black's Link is easily wide enough to be shared by both cyclists and pedestrians. I've walked it numerous times and have never seen a pack of cyclists hurtling, and nor have I seen a sign prohibiting cycling. If bikes are banned on Black's Link, where are the signposts?
Barbara, "jump aside" would actually be dangerous. In fact what you or other old people should do is to continue walking or crossing, most cyclists are smart enough to avoid you. By having sudden moves actually would make it worst. And yes, cyclists have right of ways too. Welcome to the world that does not rotate around you. Cheers.
For the part of motorcyclist just weaving through traffic in high speed I must agree that this is rather dangerous. I was taken quite often by surprise when a motorcyclist squeezed themselves between the road divider an my car, or between my car and a car in the lane next to me. Motorcyclists should overtake when it is safe, just like every other road user. By the way is it allowed for motorcyclists to use the hard shoulder as an extra lane when there is a traffic jam? It looks as they think it is as they all drive there to overtake a traffic jam. I hardly ever meet cyclists on the road so no comments there


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