2013-04-09     Taxis making illegal stops

One day last week as I was waiting outside Yue Hwa Department Store in Nathan Road, about to cross Nathan Road, I saw what is a common sight at that corner: a taxi pulling up to let passengers off right next to the pedestrian crossing, thereby holding up traffic coming down Nathan Road from TST. The taxi caused several buses, vans and cars to queue across and block Jordan Road.  Some cars and vans tried unsuccessfully, and somewhat dangerously, to change lanes.

Three passengers emerged from the taxi, none of them elderly or incapacitated, none of them with luggage. The taxi could have stopped in the next side street without any inconvenience to the passengers. Stopping right next to the crossing and causing a traffic jam was a safety hazard to other vehicles and to pedestrians waiting to use the crossing. When the green light showed, pedestrians could not cross until traffic trapped behind the taxi passed by.

This Nathan Road crossing is just one of many in Hong Kong where taxis and other vehicles are ignoring traffic laws and posing a safety problem by stopping illegally. I hope the Transport Department can soon take action to stop such stopping

One way to solve the problem is to install traffic cameras at such places, with signs to let drivers know they are on camera and that stopping illegally will incur an automatic fine of $1,000.  If a driver receives one or two such fines in the mail, the driver will soon think twice about stopping illegally!