Lantau buffalo activists want cameras along roads to deter speeding

Association says surveillance cameras should be placed along South Lantau Road

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 October, 2013, 3:55am

The Lantau Buffalo Association wants to buy and install surveillance cameras along South Lantau Road in a bid to prevent hit-and-run accidents like the one that left eight feral cows dead in June.

"It was cows then, but it could have easily been a child or a stopped car," said Lantau resident and buffalo enthusiast Clive Noffke at the group's annual meeting yesterday.

A woman, 49, was arrested and released on bail over the deaths at Tong Fuk village.

The association is also pushing to have the 50km/h speed limit lowered in the area. It says the limit was 30km/h in the past, because the Lantau International School is located in Tong Fuk.

"Even if you're going at the speed limit around those bends, it would be hard to stop in time," Noffke said.

The group has raised the issue with the government, but association chairwoman Ho Loy said cameras were yet to be installed along South Lantau Road, where illegal racing and speeding is known to occur. Temporary barriers were in place for a few years along the centre of the main road to encourage motorists to slow down, but these have been removed.

From January to September this year, 17 feral cows or buffaloes were killed and 21 injured on Lantau, mostly by speeding vehicles, according to records kept by the association.

A government spokesman was not available for comment.

Feral cattle have been a point of contention among residents for years, regarded by some as a nuisance and by others as a precious part of the community and ecosystem. Most of them are found on Lantau and around Sai Kung. They are often the offspring of cows and buffaloes once raised by dairy farmers in parts of the New Territories.