I refer to the letter from Duncan Macrae headlined 'Accident fears' (South China Morning Post, September 17). The Transport Department shares the complainant's concern about queue-jumping and lane-cutting by inconsiderate drivers using the West Kowloon Highway southbound prior to the deceleration lane on the left leading to Tsim Sha Tsui. This may easily cause accidents with vehicles in the other traffic lanes. However, with reference to accident statistics of the West Kowloon Highway for the year ending August 31, 2001, there is no evidence to suggest that the concerned road section has a higher accident rate in comparison with the rest of the road.
Although the complainant's suggested introduction of double white lines on a 1.5 kilometre road section may reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by queue-jumping or lane-cutting, the double white lines would cause undue restriction to drivers intending to change lanes for whatever purposes - say, in the event of vehicle breakdowns. Since the incidents cited by the complainant mostly occurred during the morning and evening peak hours and were caused by only a very small percentage of drivers, it appears that introduction of the double white lines would affect the majority of the drivers in most hours of the day and could be construed as a draconian measure. We have evaluated various options and are prepared to extend the existing solid-cum-broken white lines laid northwards between the left-hand lane and middle lane of the road by about 200 metres.
for Commissioner for Transport