For discussion
on 9 July 1999


Transport Department
New Subhead "Expansion of Speed Enforcement Camera System"

    Members are invited to approve a new commitment of $25.16 million for expanding the speed enforcement camera system to other strategic road sections over the territory.


The high level of speeding has contributed to the occurrence and severity of the majority of traffic accidents on expressways and at traffic black spots.


2. We propose to acquire and deploy eight additional digital speed enforcement camera units at various locations in the territory at an estimated cost of $25.16 million to combat speeding.


3. Speeding remains a serious problem in Hong Kong. In 1998, there were about 1 300 speed-related injury traffic accidents, representing about 9% of the annual total number of injury accidents. From 1996 to 1998, the Hong Kong Police Force (the Police) issued on average about 200 000 fixed penalty tickets/summonses annually for speeding offences, contributing to about 30% of the total number of moving offences committed by drivers. With the opening of new expressways, the number of speeding cases on expressways rose sharply by 60% in 1997 and 103% in 1998 (from 19 635 in 1996 rising to 31 333 in 1997 and to 63 454 in 1998). In the past three years, the average numbers of deaths and serious casualties per annum as a result of speeding were seven and 24 respectively.

4. An initial scheme of installing two speed enforcement camera units on a rotational basis at various sites on certain sections of Tolo Highways has been put into operation since early 1999. A preliminary study on the first three months of operation has indicated that there was a marked reduction of over 50% in the number of speeding vehicles (those in excess of speed limit by 15 kilometres per hour) and 40% in the number of injury traffic accidents. Overseas experience has also shown that the speed enforcement camera system can effectively deter drivers from speeding1. In order to combat speeding, we propose to acquire eight additional camera units to be deployed at 60 camera sites in the coming three years along strategic road sections which have high numbers of traffic accidents and speeding activities, such as Tuen Mun Road, North Lantau Highway, Island Eastern Corridor, Tolo Highway (remaining part) and Fanling Highway.

5. The speed enforcement camera system operates with a portable digital camera unit, a camera pole with housing and a central computer unit in a Police office. The camera unit is mounted inside the camera housing and linked up with a speed detector which will activate the camera to take photographs of vehicles in case of speed violation. The photographs captured will be stored in a computer diskette for downloading onto the central computer unit for identifying the licensed plate numbers of the offending vehicles and subsequently retrieving the data of the relevant vehicle owners. The system will automatically print out the necessary documents such as photographs, letters requesting offending drivers' information, fixed penalty tickets, summons applications and notices of intended prosecution. The camera units will put the road sections under 24-hour surveillance and substantially enhance deterrent effect and enforcement capabilities.

6. The camera units will be mounted on the sites on a rotational basis. In future, we will review the need to further expand the scheme to other areas and the related staffing requirements, taking into account the outcome of the present expansion scheme and the development of automatic detection technology at that time.

7. The conventional speed enforcement devices like laser gun and radar require manual operation. A team of at least two Police officers2 will be required to cover a short road section and for only a short duration. We believe that the expanded speed enforcement camera system, when implemented, will provide a high level of surveillance and enforcement on speeding offences that could not be met by manual operation.


Non-recurrent cost

8. We estimate the total capital cost of the project to be $25.16 million, made up as follows -

$ million
(a)Camera system including housings and ancillary equipment
    (i) Digital camera units
    (ii) Camera poles and housings
    (iii) Slave flash units
    (iv) Power cubicles
(b)Computer system, software and ancillary equipment
(c)On-site installation (including civil works), testing, commissioning and training
(d)Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF) charges and other services for project management
(e)Contingencies [10% of (a) to (d)]



9. As regards paragraph 8(a), the cost of $13.35 million is for the procurement of eight digital speed enforcement camera units, each comprising a camera and a microprocessor for processing and storage of data; 63 housings and camera poles (including three spare sets) which are used to accommodate the camera units and to support the camera housings to appropriate elevated positions on site; 63 slave flash units (including three spare sets) which are used for taking fast lane photographs; and 63 power cubicles (including three spare sets) which are used for storage of electrical devices for power supply.

10. As regards paragraph 8(b), the cost of $0.65 million is for the setting up of a central computer unit with Optical Character Recognition and tailor-made software which is used for the processing of vehicle identification and linking up with the Police's Traffic Operation and Management System.

11. As regards paragraph 8(c), the cost of $7.6 million is for the installation of poles, slave flash units, power cubicles and traffic signs; laying of cable ducting and site modification works at 60 sites; testing and commissioning of the system after installation; and training of Police staff for the operation of the system.

12. As regards paragraph 8(d), the cost of $1.27 million is for meeting the charges by EMSTF for providing services in tendering, site supervision, and testing and commissioning of electrical and mechanical works; and employing two additional contract staff for project management, liaison and supervision during delivery of the project.

13. The cashflow is estimated as follows -

$ million
2000-2001 6.12
2001-2002 9.48
2002-2003 9.56

Total 25.16


Recurrent cost

14. We will introduce the camera sites in phases and hand over these sites to the Police for immediate operation and future maintenance. The estimated additional annual recurrent cost of supporting and maintaining the expanded system is as follows -

and annually
(a)Equipment maintenance 0 0 0 780
(b)Staff cost 1,460 5,535 9,201 7,844

_______ _______ _______ _______
Total 1,460 5,535 9,201 8,624

_______ _______ _______ _______

15. As regards paragraph 14(a), the expenditure includes the cost for the hardware and software maintenance of the expanded system at the 60 camera sites upon full implementation from 2003-04 onwards.

16. As regards paragraph 14(b), the expenditure represents the full costs of additional staff that the Police require for the on-going operation of the expanded system. Taking into account the phased implementation of the expanded system, the Police need a total of 12 additional staff in 2000-01 to deal with investigation and enforcement of speed violation cases, rising to 22 in 2001-02 and 29 in 2002-03 and dropping to 22 in 2003-04 and thereafter. A detailed breakdown of the recurrent staff cost is at the Enclosure.

Implementation plan

17. We propose to implement the expanded scheme according to the following timetable -

Activity Scheduled completion date
(a) Tendering March 2000
(b) Contract commencement March 2000
(c) Site preparation June 2000
(d) Central computer system handover December 2000
(e) Camera system handover
    Phase 1 - 12 camera sites/2 camera units
December 2000
    Phase 2 - 24 camera sites/3 camera units
December 2001
    Phase 3 - 24 camera sites/3 camera units
September 2002
(f) Contract completion September 2002


18. To strengthen enforcement and enhance road safety, we have, in the 1998 Policy Objectives, included initiatives of installing high technology equipment (e.g. speed enforcement systems and red light camera systems) at strategic locations and considering how best to apply automatic detection technology to improve the efficiency of information processing and prosecution. In 1996, a new commitment of $3 million was created under delegated authority to fund the installation of the speed enforcement camera system along certain sections of Tolo Highway as an initial scheme.


Transport Bureau
June 1999

Enclosure to FCR(1999-2000)37

Breakdown of Recurrent Staff Cost for the Hong Kong Police Force

Year Police staff Numbers
Full staff cost
2000-2001 Sergeant 3 537
Constable 5 635
Clerical Assistant 4 288
Total 12 1,460
2001-2002 Sergeant 5 1,969
Constable 9 2,412
Clerical Assistant 8 1,154
Total 22 5,535
2002-2003 Sergeant 6 2,998
Constable 12 4,094
Clerical Assistant 11 2,109
Total 29 9,201
and thereafter
Sergeant 5 2,685
Constable 9 3,428
Clerical Assistant 8 1,731
Total 22 7,844

The staff are required to carry out enforcement and investigation work. Details are as follows.


2. One additional Sergeant and one additional Constable are required from 2000-01 onwards to carry out enforcement work, such as mounting the camera units onto camera sites, unloading and reloading of the camera units to other sites after a period of time and monitoring the set-up of the necessary equipment. The Sergeant is also required to oversee the enforcement work of the red light camera system.


3. Ten additional staff (comprising 2 Sergeants, 4 Constables and 4 Clerical Assistants) in 2000-01 are required to carry out investigation work, rising to 20 (comprising 4 Sergeants, 8 Constables and 8 Clerical Assistants) in 2001-02, 27 (comprising 5 Sergeants, 11 Constables and 11 Clerical Assistants) in 2002-03 as more camera units are installed. The staffing requirement would drop to 20 (comprising 4 Sergeants, 8 Constables and 8 Clerical Assistants) from 2003-04 and thereafter due to the expected reduction in the number of cases following implementation of the systems over a period of time.

4. These staff are required to carry out investigation work for speeding offences, such as checking the identity of vehicle owners from the Vehicles and Drivers Licensing Integrated Data III system, issuing Pol 571 to request vehicle owners/offending drivers to confirm offending drivers' information, taking summons action when the offending drivers' identities are confirmed, locating vehicle owners or drivers for unclaimed Pol 571, ensuring documents contain all information required for court purpose and maintaining relevant records.

5. The staffing requirement is calculated on the basis of the number of speeding cases that would have to be handled.

2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04
Number of camera units installed 2 5 8 8
Number of expected cases per month 1 600 to 2 000 3 200 to 4 000 4 400 to 5 500 3 200 to 4 000

Sergeant 2 4 5 4
Constable 4 8 11 8
Clerical Assistant 4 8 11 8
Total 10 20 27 20

6. Judging from past experience, each speed enforcement camera unit is expected to generate 800 to 1 000 cases for handling per month in the first year. The number of cases is expected to drop by 50% after the first year of operation. The output of a Constable/Clerical Assistant is estimated to be 200 cases per month. The staffing ratio in an investigation team is about one Sergeant to four Constables/Clerical Assistants. One Sergeant is also required to oversee the investigation work of the red light camera system.

1. Overseas studies in Japan from 1990-1996 and United Kingdom in 1995 have shown that speeding activities, the mean speed on roads and the number of speed-related accidents could be reduced by at least 15% as a result of installing the speed enforcement camera systems.

2. Under manual operation, one to two Police officers will use a hand-held or stationary laser gun to detect a speeding vehicle while another officer will stop the offending vehicle to take prosecution on site. In addition, the Police can also use other types of speed detection devices installed in traffic patrol vehicles to tackle speeding activities.