Following is a speech delivered today (December 3) by Commissioner of Transport Mr Robert Footman at the Opening Ceremony of the Transport Day 2000 carnival held at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay:
Hon Mrs Miriam Lau, Mr Wong, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It's a pleasure for me to officiate this ceremony. This year is the third year the Transport Day is organized. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the transport operators, trade associations and related organizations, the Police, and particularly, the Institute of Advanced Motorists Hong Kong, for their full support and active participation which has enabled this meaningful event to be successfully held.
This year is an eventful year for the transport sector. A number of measures have been implemented to enhance road safety as well as to help improve air quality. The road safety measures include prohibiting motorists from using hand-held mobile phones, the probationary driving licence system for motorcyclists, requiring back seat passengers in taxis to wear seat belts, heavier penalties on serious speeding and installation of red light and speed enforcement cameras. These we believe will work to provide a safer environment for all road users.
On the environmental front, the Transport Department has been actively promoting LPG taxis and introducing pedestrian schemes. We have also been working closely with franchised bus companies in the use of cleaner buses. On vehicle maintenance, we have also enhanced smoke tests procedures for diesel vehicles and required petrol and LPG vehicles over six years of age to undergo emission tests.
A safe, efficient, reliable and environmental friendly transport system is essential to meet the transport needs of the community. Such a system depends on the concerted efforts and full support of various parties. I look forward to further collaboration so as to achieve this target for Hong Kong.
End/Sunday, December 3, 2000