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Accident expert panel releases recommendations to enhance highway safety
( 2003-12-05 22:35) (Xinhua)

An Independent Expert Panel set up after a road accident which killed 21 in July this year in Hong Kong released recommendations publicly to enhance highway safety in Hong Kong Friday.

The Tuen Mun Road Traffic Incident Independent Expert Panel submitted the Report on Enhancement of Highway Safety to Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Tung Chee Hwa on Nov. 28, 2003 and briefed the Panel on Transport of the Legislative Council on its key recommendations Friday.

The serious traffic accident occurred on Tuen Mun Road near Ting Kau Bridge at about 6:30 a.m. on July 10, killing 21 persons and injuring 20 others. An Independent Expert Panel was set up in July to evaluate current highway safety measures and make recommendations for enhancement.

"To bring about a visible improvement in Hong Kong's road traffic performance, we should target efforts to promote good driving practices and foster a responsible and considerate driving culture," the panel's chairman Cheng Hon-kwan said, adding that the panel considered that driving behavior had the greatest bearing on road safety.

As regards parapet design, an issue that attracted much public attention after the July incident, the panel pointed out that the various types of parapets in Hong Kong were suitable for general application and for uses on elevated structures. However, there was room for further improvement at critical locations where penetration of the vehicular parapet might result in catastrophic consequences.

The panel recommended that a detailed study be conducted immediately to formulate a package of road safety enhancement measures for these road sections.

It also recommended that a comprehensive road safety review be conducted for Tuen Mun Road, with a view to identifying further safety enhancement measures.

The chief executive has asked the secretary for environment, transport and works to study the recommendations of the report in detail and to consider how best to take them forward.

The other members of the panel are Edmund Leung Kwong-ho, past president of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, and Wong Sze-chun, Associate Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Hong Kong.

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