Dear Transport Department,
I’m writing to request information under the Code on Access to Information and here are the questions for the department to answer:

1) How many minibuses are exempted from providing seatbelts ? What is the percentage of these vehicles among all the minibuses in HK? Why are they exempted?

2) What incentives or support did the department provide for the owners of these minibuses to provide seatbelts?

3) How could the department ensure the safety of the passengers of these minibuses without seatbelts?

4) Please comment on the technical feasibility of installing seatbelts on these vehicles.

5) What measures, if any, are in place to ensure these less safe vehicles to not serve passengers during peak hours ?

I urge the department to offer extra incentives for the owners of the older minibuses to install seatbelts and to ensure passengers during the peak hours are served by minibuses with seatbelts only.

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

23/06/2021

Subject:Freedom of Information request - Minibuses with no seatbelts (Case Ref: 3-6782736724)

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your email to the Transport Department dated 22/06/2021. Please note that the enquiries and complaints made to the e-mail box "[Transport Department request email]", telephone hotline "2804 2600" and fax hotline "2804 2652" of Transport Department is received by 1823 of the Government.

We have referred your case to the Transport Department. You will be informed of the outcome as soon as possible.

If you have any enquiries, please contact us.

Best regards,
Joyce Ma
Assistant Customer Service Supervisor
1823

Tel: 1823
Fax: 2760 1823
Email: [email address]

Service Disclaimer: www.1823.gov.hk/di.shtm
In view of the latest development of the COVID-19 epidemic, 1823 now accords priority to calls related to the epidemic and environmental hygiene issues, and the waiting or processing time for other calls and enquiries and complaints from written channels may be lengthened.

24/06/2021

Dear Simon,

Subject:Freedom of Information request - Minibuses with no seatbelts (Case Ref: 3-6782736724)

Please be informed that your case has been acknowledged by the Transport Department. Appropriate follow up action will be taken.

If you have any enquiries, please contact us.

Best regards,
Valerie Yu
Customer Service Officer
1823

Tel: 1823
Fax: 2760 1823
Email: [email address]

Service Disclaimer: www.1823.gov.hk/di.shtm
In view of the latest development of the COVID-19 epidemic, 1823 now accords priority to calls related to the epidemic and environmental hygiene issues, and the waiting or processing time for other calls and enquiries and complaints from written channels may be lengthened.

Dorothy Shuk Kwan CHIM, 運輸署

Dear Mr Wang,

I refer to your email of 22.6.2021.  Our reply to your request is as
follows.
Under Regulation 6(C) of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations
(Cap. 374F), every public light bus (PLB) registered on or after 1 August
2004 shall be provided with a seat belt for each of its passenger seats.
 As at 31 March 2021, there are 3 751 PLBs that have been equipped with
seat belts for each of its passenger seats.  There are 598 PLBs which were
first registered before August 1, 2004 (i.e. around 13.8% of all PLBs) and
were not fitted with passenger seat belts.

Retrofitting passenger seat belts in PLB of older age or models affect its
body structure, and those PLBs cannot cope with the reinforcement work
required for retrofitting of passenger seat belts.  Therefore, when
considering the relevant legislative amendments in 2000, we proposed to
require only newly registered PLBs to be fitted with passenger seat belts.
 The Government has taken measures to encourage more PLBs to be
retrofitted with passenger seat belts, including issued in September 2006
the relevant specifications and drawings as guidelines for retrofitting
approved passenger seat belts in PLBs first registered before August 1,
2004.  In addition, the Government has introduced incentive schemes to
provide the PLB trade with financial assistance for encouraging PLB owners
to replace their old PLBs with greener and newer models. With old PLBs
being gradually replaced with new models, the percentage of PLBs fitted
with passenger seat belts will continue to rise.

The Government has been placing high emphasis on passenger safety of PLBs
and also adopting a multi-pronged approach to enhancing the safety of PLB
operations. In addition to enact the legislation for PLBs registered on or
after 1 August 2004 with a passenger seat belt,
the Government has also introduced different measures to enhance the
safety of PLB operation.  These include imposing a maximum speed limit of
80 kilometers at which a PLB may travel, requiring every PLB to be fitted
with a speed limiter and electronic data recording devices, and requiring
applicants of PLB driving licence to attend a mandatory pre-service
training course that focus on providing the driving attitude of new PLB
drivers and requiring the display of PLB driver identity plate inside the
vehicle compartments while service is being provided. In addition to the
above, all PLBs are required to undergo an annual vehicle examination to
ensure their roadworthiness and safe.

Thank you for your suggestions of offering extra incentives for the owners
of the older minibuses to install seatbelts.  We will continue to work
with the operators to encourage them to replace old PLBs with new models.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Dorothy Chim
for Commissioner for Transport

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Dear Ms CHIM,

Thank you for your reply and information. I would like to request some further details regarding the seatbelt issue on PLBs. Here are the questions for the department to answe under the Code on Access to Information:

1) What specific financial assistance did the government provide to encourage PLB owners to replace their old models? How much financial assistance has been provided? And how many PLBs have been replaced with such incentives? Please provide year by year figures if applicable.

2) Please provide documents related to specifications and drawings issued in September 2006? How many minibuses registered before 2004 had been installed with seatbelts following the specifications?

3) Are there any measures placed to ensure that these less safe vehicles do not serve passengers during peak hours?

4) Please provide figures of prosecution and other law enforcement cases on minibus seatbelts (bus drivers and passengers) from 2011 to 2020.

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

Dorothy Shuk Kwan CHIM, 運輸署

9個附件

Dear Mr Wang,

I refer to your email of 7.7.2021, and provide our reply to your request
as follows.

1) The Government has introduced incentive schemes to provide the public
light bus (PLB) trade with financial assistance for encouraging PLB owners
to phase out their diesel public light bus in order to improve the
roadside air quality, which might be replaced by a greener and newer
vehicle model. The Transport Department does not possess the figures of
the amount of the financial assistance provided or the number of PLBs
replaced.

2) The requested documents related to the specifications and drawings
issued in September 2006 are attached.  As at 31 March 2021, there were 32
nos. PLB first registered before 1 August 2004 with seatbelts retrofitted
following the specifications issued in September 2006.

3) The Government has been placing high emphasis on passenger safety of
PLBs and also adopting a multi-pronged approach to enhance the safety of
PLB operations. Apart from enacting the legislation for PLBs registered on
or after 1 August 2004 with a passenger seat belt, the Government has also
introduced different measures to enhance the safety of PLB operations.
 These include imposing a maximum speed limit of 80 kilometers at which a
PLB may travel, requiring every PLB to be fitted with a speed limiter and
electronic data recording devices, and requiring applicants of PLB driving
licence to attend a mandatory pre-service training course that focus on
providing the driving attitude of new PLB drivers and requiring the
display of PLB driver identity plate inside the vehicle compartments while
service is being provided.  In addition to the above, all PLBs are
required to undergo an annual vehicle examination to ensure their
roadworthiness and safety.

4) From 2011 to 2020, the Police instituted a total of 12 362 prosecutions
against PLB drivers and passengers for failing to wear seat belts.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Dorothy Chim
for Commissioner for Transport

From:        Simon Wang <[FOI #686 email]>
To:        Dorothy Shuk Kwan CHIM <[email address]>
Date:        07.07.2021 12:58
Subject:        Re: Request for Access to Information (No. 218/21)
       

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Dear Ms CHIM,

Thank you for your reply and information. I would like to request some
further details regarding the seatbelt issue on PLBs. Here are the
questions for the department to answe under the Code on Access to
Information:

1) What specific financial assistance did the government provide to
encourage PLB owners to replace their old models? How much financial
assistance has been provided? And how many PLBs have been replaced with
such incentives? Please provide year by year figures if applicable.

2) Please provide documents related to specifications and drawings issued
in September 2006? How many minibuses registered before 2004 had been
installed with seatbelts following the specifications?

3) Are there any measures placed to ensure that these less safe vehicles
do not serve passengers during peak hours?

4) Please provide figures of prosecution and other law enforcement cases
on minibus seatbelts (bus drivers and passengers) from 2011 to 2020.  

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

顯示引用部分