Heavier penalties for drivers who jump red lights could be implemented as early as next month if lawmakers approve the government proposal, the transport chief said yesterday. Sarah Liao Sau-tung, the secretary for environment, transport and works, plans to present two motions at the Legislative Council on June 15 to raise the penalty for jumping a red light from three penalty points to five, and to increase the fine to $600 from $450. She said on a radio programme yesterday that the government had backed down from the original proposal of eight points after considering the concerns of professional drivers. 'We want to try the five-point [scheme] to see if it will achieve a deterrent effect, and then decide what to do next,' Dr Liao said. To set aside motorists' worries that they could be mistakenly accused of running red lights, the minister said the government would increase the number of red-light cameras from 28 to 96. The police would be able to use photographs to prosecute 97 per cent of the red-light jumpers. Currently, photographs are used in 80 per cent of such cases. The additional cameras would not be enough to ease the concerns of the transport trade, though. Kwok Chi-piu, chairman of the Urban Taxi Drivers Association Joint Committee, said the trade wanted more traffic facilities, including flashing green lights before they turned yellow and countdowns to the red light, before the new penalty kicked in. The trade plans to hold an emergency meeting in the next few days to decide what to do next. 'We would consider any type of action at this point to express our dissatisfaction against what Liao Sau-tung said during the radio programme,' Mr Kwok said. 'She said the countdown system was outdated, but we found that to be untrue during a visit to Shenzhen recently.' Separately, Dr Liao demanded that the MTR Corporation quickly submit a report explaining the reason for the Airport Express' service delay during a storm on Friday. A train was stuck at the airport station after its passengers got off, leaving the train line out of service from 7.30pm to 8.40pm. An MTR spokeswoman said a preliminary investigation showed the problem was caused by lightning hitting the overhead power line.