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LCQ7: Traffic accidents involving heavy vehicles
     Following is a question by the Hon Tony Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, in the Legislative Council today (February 28):

     It has been reported that in recent years, incidents of traffic accidents involving heavy vehicles such as dump trucks, works vehicles, refuse collection vehicles and container trucks and resulting in heavy casualties have occurred from time to time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) among the traffic accidents involving heavy vehicles in each of the past 10 years, of the number of traffic accidents involving serious casualties and the number of casualties, as well as the major causes of such accidents;

(2) whether it has analysed the data, information, accident trends and causes of the traffic accidents involving serious casualties mentioned in (1) and formulated corresponding standards and measures to reduce and prevent the occurrence of accidents; if so, of the respective measures to rectify and combat inappropriate driving behaviour;

(3) given that the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) requires that the speed at which a medium and heavy goods vehicle and a bus travels on a road must not exceed 70 km an hour or the speed limit for the road, whichever is the lower, of the numbers of law enforcement actions taken and prosecutions instituted by the authorities in respect of contraventions of the relevant requirements in each of the past seven years; of the new measures in place to monitor the speed of heavy vehicles; and

(4) as the authorities advised in 2003 in response to the recommendations put forth in the Report on Enhancement of Highway Safety that they would explore the feasibility of installing speed limiters in heavy vehicles other than franchised buses, of the latest progress of the relevant work?


     Having consulted the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and the Transport Department (TD) in respect of traffic accidents involving heavy vehicles, my reply to various parts of the question raised by the Hon Tony Tse is as follows:

(1) and (2) According to our records, the numbers of fatal and serious traffic accidents (Note) involving heavy vehicles (including buses, medium goods vehicles and heavy goods vehicles) from 2014 to 2023, and the associated numbers of people killed and seriously injured, are set out below:
Year Numbers of Traffic Accidents Numbers of People Killed and Seriously Injured in Traffic Accidents
Fatal Serious Total Killed Seriously Injured
2014 29 479 508 29 507 536
2015 38 500 538 42 600 642
2016 31 458 489 32 490 522
2017 38 398 436 41 453 494
2018 33 361 394 56 434 490
2019 39 379 418 45 442 487
2020 25 281 306 26 300 326
2021 31 253 284 31 265 296
2022 24 154 178 25 175 200
2023* 24 156 180 24 189 213
*Provisional figures

     In general, the numbers of fatal and serious accidents involving heavy vehicles, and the associated numbers of people killed and seriously injured have been declining in the past decade. These traffic accidents mainly involved driver contributory factors, including "driving inattentively", "driving too close to vehicle in front", "failing to ensure the safety of passenger", "turning right/left negligently" and "careless lane changing".

     The Government attaches great importance to road safety and endeavours to ensure the safety of road users by adopting a multi-pronged strategy. In respect of vehicle construction, we have obtained the support of the Legislative Council Panel on Transport for the legislative proposal on extending the statutory requirements for the mandatory fitting and wearing of seat belts to the rear passenger seats of newly-registered goods vehicles, and all passenger seats of public and private buses; the legislative proposal on requiring the installation of over-height warning system for vehicles with extendable aerial structures, and requiring all newly registered vehicles to be installed with reflecting mirrors up to international standards. The Government is in the process of further consulting the trade on the details of amendments and drafting the law. We expect that the legislative amendment proposal would be submitted to the Legislative Council this year.

     In addition, the TD will continue working in collaboration with the Road Safety Council and the HKPF to raise road users' safety awareness through various publicity and educational campaigns. The TD will continue to raise heavy vehicle drivers' awareness of safe driving through distribution of newsletters and leaflets enclosing safe driving tips to the goods vehicle trade, as well as organising safe driving seminars in conjunction with the HKPF. The TD will also launch the yearly event "Safe Driving and Health Campaign" to encourage commercial vehicle drivers to pay attention to safe driving and personal health through a series of publicity and educational activities and various channels such as radio broadcast, free health check-ups, website and social media.

     Road safety is one of HKPF's operational priorities. The HKPF adopts a "3E" multi-pronged approach, viz. through road engineering (Engineering), public engagement (Engagement) and proactive enforcement (Enforcement), to enhance road safety.
     The HKPF, in collaboration with the Highways Department, the TD and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, provides advice on improving the safety of road projects from time to time. On enforcement, the HKPF takes into account the prevailing annual trend of traffic accidents and draws up the "Selected Traffic Enforcement Priorities". The HKPF will take stringent enforcement actions against offences under the "Selected Traffic Enforcement Priorities" with a view to changing the undesirable behaviour of road users which causes traffic accidents or obstructs traffic. 
     In addition, the HKPF adopts a multi-agency approach to strengthen the publicity on road safety risks, traffic contravention cases in the "Selected Traffic Enforcement Priorities" and the rationale for stringent enforcement actions. The HKPF disseminates road safety messages from time to time through different channels, including various HKPF social media platforms.

(3) Traffic enforcement statistics on speeding involving heavy vehicles (i.e. medium and heavy goods vehicles, buses, etc.) in the past seven years are as follows:
Year Traffic Enforcement Statistics on Speeding
involving Heavy Vehicles
(i.e. Medium & Heavy Goods Vehicles, Buses, etc.)
Fixed Penalty Notice Summons Arrest Total
2017 17 258 69 1 17 328
2018 15 651 121 2 15 774
2019 13 610 71 0 13 681
2020 14 600 86 1 14 687
2021 14 429 47 1 14 477
2022 12 291 33 2 12 326
2023 12 102 27 0 12 129

     The HKPF is committed to combatting speeding offences to ensure the safety of road users. Apart from using fixed speed enforcement cameras for regular traffic enforcement, the HKPF also uses mobile devices such as laser guns, mobile radar and in-car video recording systems for ad hoc enforcement operations. This would help keep motorists alert at all times, hence reducing the risk of traffic accidents.

(4) Under the risk-based principle, the Government prioritised the installation of speed display device on public light buses (PLBs) in 2005 to allow passengers to monitor the speed and caution drivers against speeding by minding their driving speed. To further enhance the safety of PLBs, the Government also enacted legislation in 2007 to require every PLB to be fitted with an approved speed display device. The Government had also required the installation of speed limiter setting at the maximum speed of 80 km/h on newly registered PLBs since 2010. Subsequently, the Government enacted legislation in 2012 to require every PLB to be fitted with an approved speed limiter.

     Although there is no international standards on installation of speed limiter for taxis, in order to enhance the safety of taxis, the TD has approved taxi models equipped with collision avoidance function at the end of 2022, and is studying the feasibility of equipping taxis with more safety functions.

     As for other vehicle classes (including heavy vehicles), the TD will continue to pay heed to the development and applicability of international automotive technology, and will conduct study and review of current regulatory requirements in a timely manner.

Note: Serious traffic accident refers to traffic accident in which one or more persons is injured and detained in hospital for more than twelve hours.
Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Issued at HKT 12:00
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