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Traffic and road safety in Hong Kong

Overloaded Hong Kong minibuses are not only illegal, they put lives at risk

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 3:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 3:38pm

I refer to your report on overloaded minibuses (“Three Hong Kong minibus drivers arrested after undercover police catch them with overloaded vehicles” May 16). I’ve never read of such a case before, it is really quite unheard of in Hong Kong.

No matter whether green or red, minibuses have a passenger limit – of 16 or 19. It is preposterous that a 19-seater packed 25 passengers into the vehicle. I realise the drivers just want to earn some extra money, but such shortcuts are not only illegal, they could cost lives if an accident were to happen. They are putting the safety of passengers, as well as their own, at risk.

The drivers used wooden boxes as seats, and even allowed some passengers to stand. I do not need to point out how important seat belts are in a moving vehicle, especially in minibuses, given the drivers’ penchant for sudden braking. If the bus were to stop abruptly, passengers without a seat belt on might be thrown forward and sustain serious injuries, or worse.

Not only should drivers comply with the rules, passengers themselves should take the lead and refuse to get on a minibus that’s full. Being late would be a small price to pay: safety comes first.

Ivan Chong, Tseung Kwan O