Two ways to protect Hong Kong’s public buses from hijackers and joyriders
I am writing to express my views on the need to ensure the safety of our off-duty public buses, in response to the article, “Stolen double-decker bus crashes into two parked vehicles in Tai Po” (August 12).
This is the second time in three months that a bus had been stolen, after another KMB bus was taken on a joyride in May. And in February last year, not only did three “super bus enthusiasts” hijack a vehicle, they drove it to as many as three bus stations in North District and stole things like route plates and itinerary charts. Two of them were KMB staff and one a former employee.
In the two cases this year, the buses were damaged, which means not just extra expenses for the company but fewer vehicles at the disposal of commuters.
These incidents raise questions about the standard of protection for off-duty buses in Hong Kong. This must be addressed not just by KMB, but all bus companies operating in the city. Buses are an important lifeline for our transport system, and their safety is important.
I suggest that bus companies set up an intelligent access card for drivers. The driver would need to use this card to turn on the engine, and then return the card to bus station staff at the end of the shift. This would prevent unauthorised people from driving away with the buses.
A tracking system could also be set up for each bus, so that not only the arrival time at the terminus, but its location on the route can be monitored. If the bus seems inordinately late in arriving at the terminus, or appears to have stopped without reason, or veered off route, the bus company could call the driver to inquire and take action immediately.
Kenny Tam, Tiu Keng Leng