LBA had a very positive meeting with the new Lantau South police chief, Chief Inspector David Neil Bennett, on June 17.
The main take-out is that Chief Insp, Bennett – who has a background in traffic policing and joins us directly from Lantau North traffic division – has made road safety a priority.
He says he’s committed to improving traffic policing on South Lantau Road, targeting speeding and other offences that have a direct impact on road safety. Police will have at their disposal advanced mobile and infra-red equipment that will enable them to detect and identify moving vehicles at any time of the day or night.
While the government is moving to open up South Lantau roads to all vehicles, Chief Insp Bennett warns that the road network first needs to be upgraded in order to support the greater traffic volume. Otherwise, the increase in road traffic has the potential to create congestion as well as accidents. This is not just a police problem but one requiring the attention of multiple government departments.
Other points made by Mr Bennett:
* He expressed concern about speeding buses, and revealed that police are considering putting plainclothes police on buses.
* Police are now escorting off S. Lantau vehicles caught without a permit. One option is possible points deduction system for closed road breaches. Chief Insp Bennett says police also would consider the reintroduction of a barrier and kiosk at Shek Mun Kap, although police could not be deployed exclusively to staff it. Both issues would require the support and commitment of the Transport Department and consultation with the transport community.
We discussed the possibility of the LBA, police and possibly other groups combining to conduct a road safety Police are willing in principle to support this. The campaign would raise awareness of cattle, promote safe driving and warn about the dangers of speeding.
Finally, police are willing in principle to participate in LBA workshops on cattle first aid and to enhance general understanding.