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LCQ16: Video pedestrian detection devices
     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Frank Chan Fan, in the Legislative Council today (January 24):
​     The Government indicated in reply to a question raised by a Member of this Council on June 7 last year that the Transport Department was currently conducting a pilot scheme to test a video pedestrian detection device (i.e. smart traffic lights) at junctions with different traffic conditions and road environment in Hong Kong. Regarding the development of smart traffic light systems, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number and locations of the junctions currently installed with smart traffic lights under the pilot scheme, and the expenditure incurred so far;

(2) how the authorities will assess the cost-effectiveness of the pilot scheme; whether there are specific assessment criteria; if so, whether such criteria include if the device can reduce (i) the waiting time of pedestrians in the waiting zones and (ii) unnecessary stopping of vehicles; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it has studied the relevant experience of overseas places such as Singapore with a view to improving the scheme for the development of the smart traffic light systems in Hong Kong; if so, of the details; if not, whether the authorities will conduct the study?



​     The Government has been striving to create a pedestrian-friendly environment and encouraging citizens to walk more, with a view to promoting Hong Kong to become a walkable city. To improve the road and pedestrian environment of the signal-controlled junctions, the Transport Department (TD) has launched a pilot scheme on video pedestrian detection devices (pilot scheme) by installing video pedestrian detection devices at the selected signal-controlled junctions. Once detecting the presence of pedestrians in the waiting zone, the device will activate the pedestrian green phase without the pedestrians having to press any button. If the pedestrians leave the waiting zone before the activation of the green phase, the scheduled pedestrian green signal will be cancelled automatically. It is expected that the device will help reduce the waiting time for pedestrians to cross the junctions and unnecessary stopping for vehicles, thereby enhancing the operational efficiency of the signal-controlled junctions.

​     My reply to the various parts of Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki's question is as follows:

(1) At present, the TD has installed video pedestrian detection devices at five junctions under the pilot scheme, namely the intersection of Hoi Bun Road and Lai Yip Street junction in Kwun Tong, the intersection of Link Road and Broadwood Road in Happy Valley, the junction near the transport interchange in Sham Mong Road in Cheung Sha Wan, the pedestrian crossing at Po Ning Road near Tseung Kwan O Hospital in Tseung Kwan O, and the pedestrian crossing facing Ebenezer School & Home for the Visually Impaired in Pok Fu Lam. The expenditure involved in the pilot scheme is about HK$900,000.

(2) The TD has conducted a preliminary review earlier on the effectiveness of the video pedestrian detection devices. The review results showed that the device can effectively reduce the waiting time for pedestrians to cross the junctions. The TD will subsequently conduct a more comprehensive on-site survey on the pedestrian and traffic flow of all junctions under the pilot scheme. The TD will assess the extent to which the waiting time for pedestrians is saved, and the number of times the unnecessary stopping for vehicles is reduced, so as to obtain further data to assess whether the operational efficiency of signal-controlled junctions has been enhanced as a whole after installation of the video pedestrian detection device. This will help the TD select suitable signal-controlled junctions to install video pedestrian detection devices in the future.

(3) In launching the pilot scheme, the TD has made reference to overseas experience (including that of Singapore and the United Kingdom) in their use of video detection devices to manage traffic. The TD will continue to make reference to overseas experience for further developing smart traffic light systems. The TD will install more sensors at selected junctions for further tests of the real-time monitoring of the pedestrians and vehicular flows crossing the junctions, the tailbacks, etc, with a view to using smart systems more effectively in enhancing traffic management and providing a pedestrian-friendly environment.
Ends/Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Issued at HKT 15:45
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