Traffic policeman leaves driving wheel with both hands and crosses a double white line in the tunnel

A short video that showed a traffic policeman driving a motorbike on Stonecutters Island Bridge towards Kowloon, during which he suddenly raised his arms and waved, making a “wing flapping” motion, was circulated on the Internet. In the video, the policeman lowered his arms after about two seconds of waving and continued to drive his bike as normal. The video caused critic among netizens, saying that the traffic policeman had “entered into a state of frenzy” to have suddenly raised his arms during his drive. Some argued this action was so dangerous that it could have caused a traffic accident, and questioned how his driving license was obtained. On the other hand, some people thought that the traffic policeman was giving out signal to demand the vehicles behind to slow down and keep their distance, and commented that the policeman was “driving with his skills”.

Apple Daily contacted the owner of the video, Thomas, who published his video on the Facebook group. Thomas said that he was on his way to Sha Tin from the airport at 5ish today, during which he was suddenly stopped by the traffic police at a roundabout near the airport. Thomas said, “it was the time when the policemen escorted the travellers from Wuhan to Chun Yeung Estate for quarantine. Three coaches were driving ahead and one traffic policeman was driving behind them.” He pointed out that the traffic police had once stretched out his right foot or right hand. Unexpectedly, the policeman later raised his hands and waved when he reached the Stonecutters Island Bridge. Thomas was totally shocked by the scene, “I didn’t expect that would happen at all. I was totally stunned at that moment. That was too dangerous and terrifying.”

According to Thomas’ witness, after the group of vehicles entered the Eagle’s Nest Tunnel, the traffic police swayed left and right inside the tunnel and even drove on or crossed the double white line. This has lasted for about half a minute. The white car behind the policeman needed to slow down to avoid hitting the traffic policeman. Later, when the group of vehicles was on the Sha Tin section of Tai Po Road outside Wo Che Estate, the traffic policeman again crossed the double white line and even extended his right foot and left hand at the same time to prevent the vehicles behind from driving close.

Thomas said that it was sunset time when the incident happened and therefore drivers’ vision could be badly affected by the reflection of light. He said that it was not easy for driver to clearly view the motorbike ahead. “It could still be very dangerous even the announcement light or the hazard warning light were activated. Normally when the traffic police has a group of cars to escort, they would stop all cars on all lanes of the road. This time only the fast lane and middle lane were stopped. Cars were allowed on the slow lane.” Thomas described how dangerous the situation was and commented that the police should have used larger vehicles, for example, coaches, or private cars to stay at the end of the squad.

However, the reporter searched through information and has found earlier comment from an expert that the large torque and high speed of the motorbike could cause accidents if the driver did not pay attention for only one second. The expert called on the driver to use both hands to grip the handle. Also, according to the information of Transport Department, it is dangerous for drivers to only drive with one hand when giving out an arm sign. It was recommended that the driver should shorten the duration of giving arm sign or even not give an arm sign at all.

According to Cap. 374 Road Traffic Ordinance of the Laws of Hong Kong ─ Section 37 Dangerous driving:
(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road dangerously commits an offence and is liable—
(a) on conviction on indictment to a fine at level 4 and to imprisonment for 3 years;
(b) on summary conviction to a fine at level 3 and to imprisonment for 12 months.
Chapter 7 For Motor Cycles of Road Users’ Code issued by Transport Department:
An arm signal in good visibility is more likely to be noticed by other road users than a flashing light but it does involve riding one-handed. As riding one-handed is dangerous arm signals should not be given for longer than is necessary and at times not given at all.

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