At greater risk from reckless drivers than walking on escalator

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2015, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 September, 2015, 4:45pm

On a safety scale of one to 10, walking on an escalator would surely rate below one.

By contrast, the woman driving her car in the next lane to me through Tai Po one morning last month with her dog on her lap would surely rate a seven or an eight.

The car in front had two adults strapped into the front seats while four unrestrained children leapt around on the back seat as though they were on a bouncy castle. Surely this would be another seven or eight.

Despite all modern cars now being equipped with a Bluetooth function, just about everyone driving through Tai Po that morning had one hand on the steering wheel and the other one holding their mobile phone, which was stuck to their ear for what must have been a highly important conversation.

Why don't these people use the hands-free function to talk? Is it arrogance or stupidity that makes them do this?

This would be another seven or eight on the safety scale, and three points for a traffic offence.

On another day last month, I was forced to endure a white-knuckle ride by the driver of the green minibus from Tai Po to my village. He hit the pavement very hard on two occasions and also drove at 75km/h on a 50km/h section of road. While doing so, he went straight through a red light on a section of road undergoing maintenance. He was well off the top of the safety chart.

Being angry about this terrible driving, I called the hotline number that was clearly listed inside the bus, only to be told that I needed to call a different number. Why should I call a different number to report such bad driving? What was wrong with the so-called hotline?

Some 25 years ago, the MTR launched a campaign to stop people "flicking tickets".

This was in the days before the convenient Octopus card, and someone in the MTR Corporation decided to make it an offence to flick the ticket, and it was punishable by a fine of several thousand dollars.

Walking on escalators is about as dangerous as flicking a ticket, and the campaign to prevent it was no doubt thought up by the same person who dreamed up the flicking tickets fiasco.

Richard Castka, Tai Po