Sunday, 20 December 2015

Safety First

The green minibus on its side, with four dead after a truck rammed into it
On the day I left for Vancouver there was a tragic accident in Pat Heung, New Territories involving a minibus and a truck.

The two vehicles collided in an intersection in broad daylight. From a video taken from a vehicle on the opposite side of the intersection the truck was traveling on, it seems the truck did not stop, though a double-decker bus did, and the green minibus did not.

The minibus fell on its side and slid to the other side of the intersection. Four people died, including a three-month-old baby girl, and 14 others injured.

There are calls for passengers traveling in any vehicles to wear seat belts, and this is absolutely important. Maybe some of those lives could have been saved. And perhaps the Legislative Council should consider making it mandatory for anyone in a moving vehicle to wear a seat belt.

By the same token, these minibus drivers are notorious for driving recklessly. Everyone knows that getting into one of these tin cans, especially those going to and from the New Territories, means putting their lives at risk, even if they used to joke about it until now.

Why hasn't the police cracked down on these drivers for going beyond the speed limit? They are responsible for everyone who sits in their minibuses. But no, they are thinking more about how much money they can make, which means driving faster to get as many trips in as possible.

This thinking is completely wrong and has to stop.

Also -- there are many buses, mini buses and taxis where the seat belts aren't working or no where to be found. Again this issue must be fixed as soon as possible, particularly on mini buses and taxis.

It's time Hong Kong people demand safety as a priority when it comes to public transport. And buckle up.

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