Striving to restore traffic lights

December 18, 2019

Since June, about 730 sets of traffic lights have been damaged across the city. The Transport Department has deployed additional manpower for repair works and expedited the procurement process for traffic light components, while an interdepartmental working group was set up to co-ordinate and speed-up the works.


The traffic lights in Yau Tsim Mong District were the most seriously affected with 121 damaged, followed by Yuen Long with 64 and Sham Shui Po District where 59 were vandalised.


Some traffic lights at busy road junctions were repeatedly damaged. The junction between Nathan Road and Argyle Street was the hardest hit with traffic lights there damaged at least 16 times, while the traffic signals at two other Nathan Road junctions were vandalised more than 10 times.


At the top three hardest hit junctions, an average of 2,000 to 4,000 vehicles pass through per hour during the morning and afternoon peak hours.


Forging ahead

Transport Department Engineer Chan Ka-yan said the relevant departments are working at full speed to complete the repair works and have arranged temporary traffic control measures including portable traffic signals to ease congestion.


As of mid-December, more than 10 sets of traffic lights in various districts had yet to resume normal operation.


Ms Chan explained that some repairs have taken longer as the damage to the traffic lights in October and November was more serious than in the previous months.


“A number of traffic controllers and components were damaged. In some cases, these components were burnt, so we have to arrange for replacement of the underground cables.


“An interdepartmental working group comprising the Transport Department, Electrical & Mechanical Services Department, Highways Department and Police has been set up to co-ordinate and speed-up the repair works.”


Traffic control

The Transport Department urged motorists and pedestrians to be patient and pay attention to road safety when passing through the affected junctions.


Ms Chan also stressed that traffic lights play an important role in the road network as they can effectively co-ordinate the traffic at junctions, increase traffic flow, alleviate congestion and ensure road safety.


“Pedestrian traffic lights can assist people in safely crossing the road. They are particularly essential for the elderly, the visually impaired and people with disabilities. Our traffic lights are equipped with electronic audible traffic signals. They are important as they provide an indication to the visually impaired on the prevailing pedestrian signals to guide them across the street.”


For the safety of road users, the department also appealed to the public to stop damaging traffic lights and other road facilities.

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