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Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2011 to be gazetted

     The Government will publish in the Gazette on Thursday (June 30) the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2011 to provide the necessary statutory provisions for introducing a package of measures to enhance the safety of public light bus (PLB) operation and the quality of PLB services.
     "With a view to achieving continuous improvement in the safety of PLB operation and the quality of PLB services, the Government proposes to introduce further measures to control and regulate the travelling speed of PLBs and to deter inappropriate driving behaviour of PLB drivers," a Government spokesman said today (June 28).

     The Bill imposes a statutory speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour (kmh) for PLBs.  The Bill also mandates the installation of speed limiters on all PLBs.  

     "The imposition of a maximum speed limit for PLBs on roads, together with the mandatory installation of a speed limiter on PLBs, should effectively suppress speeding behaviour by PLB drivers, thereby further improving the safety of PLB operation," the spokesman said.

     "Although the maximum speed is set at 80kmh, PLB drivers will still be subject to any speed limit indicated on the traffic signs on the roads concerned, which may be lower than 80kmh," the spokesman emphasised.

     The Bill also mandates the installation of electronic data recording devices (EDRDs) (commonly called blackboxes) as basic equipment in new PLBs.  It is proposed that failure to comply with various requirements related to speed limiters and EDRDs, and tampering with these devices, would be an offence.  It also empowers the Transport Department and the Police to retrieve data stored in EDRDs, and provides for the use of such data as evidence in any criminal proceedings.

     The Bill makes attendance and completion of a pre-service course a condition for the issue of a PLB driving licence.  It also mandates the display of a PLB driver identity plate in every PLB, and makes failure to comply with the requirement an offence.

     "Installation of EDRDs will facilitate fleet management and deter PLB drivers from improper driving.  The requirement to attend a pre-service training course and display a driver identity plate will help enhance the quality of PLB services," the spokesman said.

     The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on July 13.

Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:31


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