Do all Hong Kong drivers follow the Road Users’ Code?
In your report on the tragic accident involving a runaway school bus (“Retail worker recounts his close brush with death,” December 11) it was very disturbing to read such misleading advice to drivers as that given by a “senior driving instructor” relating to parking vehicles.
First, the handbrake should be applied firmly, but it should not be yanked or, as suggested by Mr Chan Chun-yeung “given an extra tug”, as this will strain the linkage and reduce the effectiveness of the brake.
Second, a vehicle with a manual gearbox should always be left in first or reverse gear, and one with an automatic gearbox should always be left in “P” (park) mode. This should be standard practice for drivers, not simply an option to consider as the use of the word “could” implies.
Third, Mr Chan fails to mention the additional risk of parking on a slope and the precautions to take when this is unavoidable: park close to the kerb or, if none is available, close to a solid immovable object with the steering wheels aligned such that, if the vehicle begins to move, its motion would be checked by the kerb or solid object.
Mr Chan should read the Road Users’ Code, in particular the guidance on parking on page 85 of the English version of the May 2000 edition, and advise all his pupils to do the same. The Transport Department should do far more to make people aware of the Road Users’ Code and encourage them, pedestrians included, to obtain a copy and read it.
Peter Robertson, Sai Kung