Letters to the Editor, July 17, 2017
Tunnel traffic to move better with Octopus
I welcome the decision to allow Octopus cards to be used for tunnel tolls from later this month (“Octopus and credit cards to be accepted for Hong Kong tunnel and highway toll charges”, July 13).
I think this will speed up traffic through tunnels and help to reduce queues, and therefore cut congestion.
There are so many vehicles now in Hong Kong that congestion is quite common, especially at some of the busiest tunnels during the rush hour.
When congestion is particularly bad, drivers have to wait a long time at the tunnel entrances. This can lead to frayed tempers, especially when tunnel fees are raised but the queues remain long. These queues should be reduced once drivers can use their Octopus cards to pay the toll.
At the moment they have to pay cash, and if they do not have the exact amount they will have to wait for change.
With e-payments, like with Octopus cards, they can have the money deducted straight away. This will result in cars getting into and through the tunnels faster than before.
At the moment, the only other option to paying cash is to have “autotoll”. However, many drivers do not have this arrangement, especially if they are not regular users of tunnels.
It just makes sense to give all drivers some more payment options and therefore greater flexibility.
The government should always be looking at ways to speed traffic through all the tunnels in Hong Kong, so as to have more efficient movement of traffic in the city.
Any e-payment methods which are introduced with advances in new technology should be implemented whenever possible at our busy tunnels, to make things easier for drivers and to at least ease some of our congestion.
Mario Man Yuk-kin, Tseung Kwan O
Citizens need more advice on air pollution
I am concerned about the high levels of air pollution recorded in Hong Kong.
There are days when the air quality health index records high readings in certain parts of the city. Tung Chung is a particularly bad black spot.
The Environmental Protection Department will sometimes blame the higher than normal pollution levels on wind directions in the Pearl River Delta, and then say this will not last for long.
However, it must do more than that. Officials need to explain to citizens what measures they can take to protect themselves from high pollution levels.
When the air is bad, vulnerable sections of society – such as children and the elderly, and people with heart or respiratory conditions – are at greater risk.
Natalie Woo San-ling, Yau Yat Chuen
TV syndrome can be bad for people’s health
I think that a lot of people now watch too much television. Many are particularly fond of soap operas and are glued to the screens watching them.
Researchers have studied the negative health effects of this habit, and some claim that it can shorten one’s lifespan.
They have even come up with a name for it, “TV syndrome”, and claim this applies to people who watch TV for three hours or more every day.
This can affect children if parental control is weak, and adolescents are also at risk.
Experts warn that people have to be made aware of the risks of spending too long in front of the TV screen. This can adversely affect their vision, as prolonged TV watching can cause eye strain. If they stay up too late, they could suffer from insomnia and possibly even mental illness, such as neurosis.
People need to take sensible precautions, in particular, try to limit the time they spend in front of a screen. If they are going to watch TV on a particular day for an extended period, they should ensure that the room is well-lit and ventilated.
They should also place the television at eye level in order to minimise the risk of suffering from eye strain. It also means that they are not having to look down at the screen which could cause neck pain if they have been watching for a few hours.
The best advice, however, especially for the elderly or young children, is to only watch TV for limited periods.
Miki Hui, Tseung Kwan O
Students have to stay positive despite stress
Children struggle to cope with the competitive education system in our city. They must often feel like learning robots.
They face a punishing schedule in school and even afterwards in the evening, with so much homework. And many also have to attend various tutorial classes.
Often they are pushed too much by parents to do well in exams and may be scolded even if they fail a small test.
I know some parents think by acting in this way they are trying to do their best for their children, but surely they should be thinking about what makes their children happy.
I do not think they can learn better if they are put under too much pressure. The stress has resulted in some of them committing suicide.
Despite the stress, students have to try and keep a positive attitude in their lives. This can help them to deal with the challenges they will face during their school years and beyond.
Cherie Chan, Kowloon Tong