Drivers just dreadful

WHY are driving standards so poor in Hongkong? I suspect youngsters grow up first experiencing the very poor quality of bus and taxi driving, so it is not easy to re-educate. There should certainly be a major review of these standards and I suggest a revision of tests and licensing to reflect this.

By my observation, which is not racially prejudiced, the average Chinese driver does not know the width of his vehicle. They seem unable to keep the car in a straight line and suffer from lack of side and rear-view vision and display little or no anticipation or ability to read traffic situations. As a result, driving, for the experienced foreigner (used to much higher standards), is rather like a grown-up, and very dangerous, version of fairground ''dodgems''.

Unfortunately, for survival and often to make any headway, one is often forced to adopt the ''when in Rome'' approach; a self degenerating state of affairs. Most local drivers seem quite disciplined when it comes to not crossing white lines (no doubt they think they might get a ticket), but there is a complete absence of any form of highway code which is, for the most part, plain common-sense.

Lane discipline does not exist at all, truck and van drivers assume that size is all they need to abuse everyone and I never cease to be amazed at how often accidents occur by a complete lack of vision and vehicle/road craft.

When is the Transport Department going to make a real attempt to encourage a reversal of these trends? ALAN SHIRLEY Tai Tam