LegCo Panel on Transport
Road Safety at Light Rail Transit (LRT) Junctions
and Future Development of the LRT
In June 1995, members were informed of various measures taken by the Administration and KCRC to improve road safety at LRT junctions. This paper provides a progress report. It also provides a brief note on the future development of the LRT system.
Accidents at LRT Road Junctions
2. There are 70 junctions at which Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) cross the normal vehicular traffic. Since the LRT commenced operation in September 1988, there have been 187 accidents involving LRVs. These accidents resulted in 376 casualties, including drivers and passengers of LRVs and other vehicles. When compared with the overall accident rate at road junctions in the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, the accident rate at LRT junctions is much lower.
3. In the past few years, a review of the operation of the LRT junctions has been carried out and improvements introduced where necessary. These improvements include junction layout modifications, adjustment of traffic signals, provision of warning signs/reflective studs/road markings, erection of safety fence and tree trimming to enhance sight lines. As a result of these efforts, the number of accidents has shown a downward trend.
Installation of Red Light Cameras
4. The Police have stepped up law enforcement in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long to deter motorists from jumping lights. Red light cameras have now been installed at a number of locations to collect evidence for use in prosecution by the Police. The first camera was set up in June and the whole project was completed in September 1996. Between June and October 1996, 1 632 photos were taken and 1 255 prosecutions were brought by the Police. This compares with only 152 prosecutions taken in the whole of 1995 for "disobeying traffic light signals".
5. Experience in the urban areas reveals that after the introduction of red light cameras there was a subsequent reduction of 40% of vehicles jumping lights. It is too early to assess the long-term deterrent effect of the red light cameras in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. Transport Department will conduct an after study and prepare a report in April 1997 to assess their effectiveness.
6. The Administration plans to install more red light cameras at LRT junctions and is seeking additional funds. Although LRV drivers were not at fault in most of the accidents occurring at the LRT junctions, cameras will also be set up to check whether they comply strictly with the traffic arrangements at these junctions.
Road Safety Campaigns
7. The focus of KCRCs road safety campaign this year is to urge motorists to observe traffic signals and not to jump lights while crossing junctions. KCRC is producing two new Announcements of Public Interest on the safety at LRT junctions targeting at both motorists and pedestrians. The theme will focus on obeying traffic lights by vehicles and pedestrians when crossing LRT junctions.
Further Measures to Improve Safety
8. The Administration will examine some busy locations and consider the possibility of grade separation. Grade separation at LRT junctions will be examined in a Traffic Study for Tuen Mun and Yuen Long next year, which is a comprehensive district traffic study, covering also the subject of improvement of LRT junctions. This traffic study will commence in 1997 and will take about 18 months to complete. We will take into account traffic and safety benefits and other practical issues such as environmental, cost and land considerations.
Future Development of LRT
9. The KCRC plans to complete the Tin Shui Wai Extension loop to serve Kenswood Court and the Tin Tsz Estate areas. A further extension into the Tin Shui Wai Reserve Area north of Tin Wah Road along the LRT reserve is also being studied.
10. To cope with the additional traffic resulting from the proposed West Rail, consideration is being given to the need for the modification of LRT stations in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun North and Tuen Mun Central. Once the development plans for the Tin Shui Wai extensions and the West Rail have been finalised, detailed studies will be undertaken.
Last Updated on 21 August 1998