LegCo Panel on Transport
Proposed Amendments to
the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations
This paper seeks Members' views on a proposal to amend the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations with regard to the following:-
- Amendments to Schedule 1 of the Regulations
- Combination of green traffic signals and 'no left/right turn' signs
- Road studs
2. The Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations are subsidiary legislation made under the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) and set out the legal provision for traffic aids/regulations/control. Any changes require legislative approval.
AMENDMENTS TO SCHEDULE 1 OF THE ROAD TRAFFIC (TRAFFIC CONTROL) REGULATIONS
3. Schedule 1 of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations includes figures of all the regulatory, warning and informatory signs, and supplementary plates prescribed in the Regulations. To facilitate traffic management and control, it is proposed to amend Schedule 1 of the Regulations by adding new traffic signs and supplementary plates, as illustrated at Annex A.
4. To make clear the meaning of the signs, a sub-note will be added beneath each sign/supplementary plate in Schedule 1 describing its function. Included in the sub-note of each sign, where applicable, is a note stipulating which supplementary plate(s) may be used in conjunction with that particular sign. Similarly, there is a description of the compatible main sign in the sub-note of the relevant supplementary plate.
COMBINATION OF GREEN TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND 'NO LEFT/RIGHT TURN' SIGNS
5. Subregulation 17(1)(c) of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations stipulates that green light signals indicate that vehicle traffic may pass the light signals and proceed straight on or to the left or right. For traffic management purpose, a green light signal is frequently used in conjunction with a 'no left turn/no right turn' sign as shown in Figure 122 of Schedule 1 of the same Regulations e.g. urgent traffic management schemes or when fully signalised control is restricted by site contraints. The intention of the combination of the green light signal and the 'no left turn/no right turn' sign is that traffic may proceed to pass the light signal but not in the direction prohibited by the sign. Details of the subregulation and the Figure 122 are shown at Annex B.
6. There is an apparent contradiction between the prescribed message conveyed by the green light signal, i.e. vehicles can proceed straight on or to left or to the right and that conveyed by the 'no left turn/no right turn' sign which prohibits either the left or right turn. As these two are not compatible, if a driver turns right or left in complying with the green signal, even when there is a 'no left turn/no right turn' sign present, it can be argued that he may not be committing an offence. It is proposed that we rectify this ambiguity by amending regulation 17(1)(c) by saying that vehicle traffic may pass the light signals and proceed straight on or to the left or right, subject to complying with any prescribed traffic sign or road marking.
7. Subregulations 13(3) and 13(4) of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations define the dimensions of depressible and non-depressible studs respectively and the amount by which a stud may project above the surface of the carriageway. For non-depressible studs, this is not to be more than 18mm at the highest point. However, with technology changes, such dimensional requirements can become out of date quickly. The Director of Highways has considered that, rather than having to regularise this dimensional requirement each time a change is made to tie in with current availability and standards, Sections 13(3) and 13(4) should be deleted from the regulations.
REVIEW OF ROAD SIGNS AND MARKINGS
8. Review of the standards and usage of road signs and markings is an on-going process. This package of proposals is the necessary revisions/additions so far identified. We have plans to conduct reviews on the standards and usage of road signs on a continuous basis.
9. Members are requested to comment on the above-mentioned proposals to amend the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations.