Sunday 1 April 2007

Safe Cycling Campaing in Hong Kong


Road safety
Safe cycling campaign launches
Hong Kong Police

Police figures show that there were 210 traffic accidents involving bicycles during the first two months of 2007, a decrease of 10% compared with the 220 casualties in the same period in 2006. Among these casualties, 193 cyclists were injured and one died.

The Police will organise a two-week campaign to promote safe cycling from April 1.

During the first week, Police officers will distribute publicity leaflets in areas frequented by cyclists, including railway stations, shops that use bicycles to deliver goods, cycling tracks and cycling black spots.

They will educate cyclists on their responsibilities on the road and the importance of complying with traffic regulations. Offenders will be given verbal warnings and motorists will also be reminded to pay attention to cyclists on the road.

Stringent enforcement action will be taken during the second week, from April 8 to 14.

Police said, once on the road, cyclists are obliged to obey all traffic laws which apply to drivers and are subject to the Road Traffic Ordinance. They should also watch out for other road users.

Quite an interesting campaign this is. I used to cycle regular on Hong Kong Island, Lantau as well as every now and then in New Territories. The article above assumes that the in the majority of cases the cyclists are the cause of accidents.

I don't have the actual statistics, but speaking from experience it would be more usefull to educate drivers of cars, buses, trucks etc. on how to deal with cyclists on the road. I can't count the number of times I had physical contact with cars on the road when they were taking over. (yes, the road was wide enough to fit both of us). An example I have had happening quite a few times is that cars stay behind you on a straight road... and take over at corners or other points with low visibility. Cutting you off, or taking over way to close are normal practices here...

A side note, in the article is mentioned they will be looking at the professional cyclists as well. It is quite normal to have cyclists as couriers, transporting goods like froozen meat, gas cylinders etc. Quite a number of those guys create their own little world whilst on the bike. Crossing over where it suits them, crossing red lights when it suits them, using tram lanes and the like. So, yes there it might be usefull to do a bit of a mind refresher.

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